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Sons of Hippies

Katherine and Jonas. So close, they’ve even tried on each other’s clothes.

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Katherine and Jonas. So close, they’ve even tried on each other’s clothes.

Hippie offspring: Katherine Kelly, lead vocals, guitars and keyboards; and Jonas Canales, percussion, synthesizers and vocals. The Sarasota band's sound is a nice combo of '70s authenticity, '80s weirdness and modern-day eclecticism. Earthy beats bring you down to earth while soaring guitars and synths take you elsewhere. Kelly mesmerizes crowds with that certain smoky, slightly spooky sexiness of Patti Smith and other female singers who can pull off strength and mystery without excess.

Rise of the Sons: Canales, who plays in a band called Third Society, met Kelly when she was fronting her own band, Nous Rapport. "He pretty much begged me from that point on to start a side project, which I wasn't ready for," Kelly said in an e-mail. "A long time passed, I started playing solo, then realized I wanted a drummer to accompany my music. Jonas was my first and only choice. It started that way, with him accompanying my music, and quickly turned into a collaboration, and we began writing music together — something I've never done with anyone else."

Bonding moments: "Attending Bonnaroo '08 together, dressing up in each other's clothes and drinking each other under the table," Kelly said.

What's (not) in a name: "Jonas' first language is Portuguese," Kelly said. "His second is Spanish. In both of these languages, there is not a direct word for 'children'; one simply uses the plural form of the word for 'son,' keeping the masculine-gendered noun. From the very beginning, Jonas would always call us 'sons of hippies' instead of 'children of hippies' because of this language issue. I always found it endearing. Not until we were taking drugs at Bonnaroo did this become so apparent, and that's where we decided on the name. The name hasn't brought incorrect assumptions about the sound yet, primarily because most people comprehend that the name is suggestive of a state of mind rather than a musical style."

Good and bad: Kelly loves moody artists like Siouxsie and the Banshees and Kate Bush. "I've also gotten comparisons to Grace Slick and Kristen Hersh" of Throwing Muses. Who doesn't she like? "I am annoyed by any singer, male or female, without integrity, vision, and heart."

Guitar goddess: "I'm a Fender girl through and through," Kelly said. "I can't play anything else. I bought my first American Standard Stratocaster when I was 15 and now I play a Jaguar."

Get your stink outta my store! "I wore patchouli oil every day in 8th grade," Kelly said. "I don't mind it — but for the record I enjoy the No. 2 hippie smell, Nag Champa."

Hear them: Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Skipper's Smokehouse 28th anniversary celebration with Hat Trick Heroes, Tailgunner Joe and the Earls of Slander, Basic Rock Outfit and Sarge and the Aeromen. 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10. (813) 971-0666.

Contributing: Jay Cridlin

Sons of Hippies 09/25/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 1:21pm]
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