Carie & the SoulShakers
Carie and The Soul Shakers are an elixir, a potion, an aphrodisiac.
Carie Anne MacAlpine with her voice and Vinny Johnson with his guitar, are the primary chemists. They are the medicine woman and man for an aching soul or a broken heart. Their numerous performances in the Bay Area have ulminated in the the building of an electric and ecstatic altar where band, fans and newcomers become the congregation. Attend! you will dance. You will sing. You will be overcome by the soul. The grit will get you. You will not be the same.
Johnson and MacAlpine found instant chemistry from the start. In the fall of 2013, MacAlpine had been discouraged by not finding a sound she imagined. She approached local guitar veteran, Johnson, to seek his help in closing out two of her remaining year end shows before she quit the music scene. A year later the two had written more than a dozen songs, produced an EP, gathered a stellar line-up of fellow musicians, and racked up prominent gigs in the Monterey Bay area.
Press and music critics call their sound "New Orleans Soul with Memphis grit," "Soul-blues of the highest order," and “deeply sensual.” Often compared to Tracy Nelson, Cold Blood, Dead Weather, and even Angela Strehli with Danny Gatto. The SoulShakers “will rearrange your molecules.”
Carie Anne MacAlpine comes to music late in the game but had decades of theater, dance and art to inform her approach to music. Her first indelible exposure to music was in the 60s when she was able to sit at the feet of the many blues greats whose renaissance was opening for various SF Bay Area rock bands. Carie first started to sing ten years ago. In 2010 she met bassist, Chamoix and founded what is now the SoulShakers. Some key contributions were made in the development of the SoulShakers by Steve Kirby, John Lawton, Gil DeLeon, Brian Gibeault, Nathan Moya, Steve Smith and many others. In the fall of 2013 Carie asked Vinny Johnson to help her close out two remaining shows before she quit the music scene at the end of the year. A year later they had written dozens of songs, produced an EP, developed a solid line-up of stellar musicians and collected a loyal following. Plans for a full length album of originals are in the works.
Vinny Johnson has established himself as a pillar in the Santa Cruz music scene for nearly two decades. In the fourth grade, Vinny began his musical education on the trumpet. Two years later he found guitar and his lifelong journey to find the funk began. "It just means everything to me," he said. "I mean, I've been doing it ever since I was a kid and I'm 44 now. It was definitely a defining moment when I got my guitar... Music affects everybody in a positive way, I mean you can say you don't like that song, but everybody has a song that touches them... I think that is what brings people together. It is the best message of music."
Johnson started out playing gigs in Santa Cruz County at the Windjammer, having moved to Aptos in 2000. Now Johnson plays all around the county at local venues such as Zelda's, the Crow's Nest, the Pocket and more.
"I think you have to go out and seek live music," he said. "You can see just as good as music, even better music, for free in your own town — I just don't think people know."
Photographers: Kevin Jones, Gerry Woodling, Rebecca Stark
Graphics & logos: bashfulgraphics