The Ultimate Bearhug Play at Cocktails for a Cause: 'Our plan is to always be involved with benefit shows.'

OC Weekly and Music for a Cure team up this Thursday for Cocktails for a Cause, a monthly fundraiser/mixer that brings various people throughout Orange County together to support a local charity. Hosted by the gracious folks of The Observatory, this month's Cocktails is presumed to be quite the production featuring performances by The Make and sultry local duo, The Ultimate Bearhug. I caught up with Barrett Johnson and Doll Knight to get an update on their anticipated debut album, and their thoughts on the importance of music and giving back to the community.

OC Weekly: How would you describe your music?
Barrett Johnson: Hug music (Love Folk).

Just South of Los Angeles is the record you've currently been working on, how has that been going and when can we expect a release?
The recording process with Dallas Kruse (Zion Studios) has been absolutely amazing. We couldn't have had more fun, Dallas is a huge talent. Our album is going to be released on Saturday, Apr. 28th at Hotel Cafe in LA.

What subject matter do you mainly focus on when it comes to your songs?
We look at songs as short stories. The song, “Just South of Los Angeles” is a letter to someone we love. “Boxcar Blues” is about falling in love with a train. We will always enjoy love songs.

In a previous interview, Barrett mentioned that you plan on giving all of your album proceeds at shows to charity, and considering the fact that you are performing at Cocktails for a Cause, are there any other plans for benefits or giving back to the community in the future?
We both feel very strongly about giving. We do plan on giving all of the profits from album sales at shows to charity. Our plans are to always be involved with benefits (shows).

Music for a Cure's mission is to bring the healing power of music to children in the hospital by funding music therapy programs. In what ways do you believe music can benefit each of us and how important is music to you when it comes to the healing process?
There is something emotional and deeper about music that would probably be impossible for any of us to try to explain, but it's effects are obvious. Music is a daily experience that we both need; that everyone probably needs.

What other kinds of benefits do you believe music can bring to the table?
We're hoping that it get us into hip hop parties. And maybe eventually buy us a solid gold jacuzzi.

What do you ultimately hope your music can bring to others? What message would you like to convey?
We are trying to have a good time doing
what we love and it feels really, really good that other people relate
to what we are doing. The response so far has been overwhelming. We had
our entire record funded by other people. We are thankful.

What are you looking forward to this Thursday at Cocktails for a Cause?
This will be fun! It's great to be a part of a great cause.

The Ultimate Bearhug perform with The Make, 7 p.m., Thursday at The Constellation Room. Sorry kids, this event is 21+ only, and a $10 donation at the door will quench your thirsty palate until 9 PM with special cocktails and select beers. All door proceeds will benefit Music for a Cure – for more information visit

Check out The Ultimate Bearhug via Facebook:

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