Bakersfield is a legendary country and honky-tonk music spot, and the birthplace of the "Bakersfield sound," defined by artists like Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. But the Central Valley city is also home to a reggae soul band called The Soul Chance. When record collectors first hear their music on vinyl, some assume the band is straight out of the 1960s, but The Soul Chance was formed in 2017. They capture that retro sound by recording with old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape.
The following is an excerpt from an interview with band members A.J. Brewer and Nico Collins. They talk about replicating early reggae and working as a couple.
On being from Bakersfield:
A.J. Brewer: Where the I-5 is it's all fields and agriculture, so people are like, ‘Oh, that must be a little farm town.’ Bakersfield is not a small town. Nobody's walking around with a straw hat and a piece of straw hanging out of their mouth.
On what makes them different from mainstream reggae groups: