Once known as the best lead singing duo to come out of the new-age American Reggae movement, Fortunate Youth's Dan Kelly and former member, Ryan Gonzalez (aka Gonzo) will soon be reunited. This weekend, they're appearing together for the first time since going their separate ways in 2012 on a small batch of dates through LA, OC, and Las Vegas.
Gonzo's calm and smooth delivery proved to be the perfect compliment to Kelly's raw and highly energetic tone during their brief stint as the soulful voices of Fortunate Youth. Both known for being some of the hardest working musicians to come out of Southern California, each artist is coming off a tremendous year in 2015 and although on their separate paths, they still seem to lead a very similar lifestyle.
Gonzo, who left Fortunate Youth nearly four years ago to start his solo career, also spends a majority of his time playing lead guitar and singing backup vocals for San Diego's roots-rock-reggae super group, Tribal Seeds. On his own, Gonzo has released two full-length albums and is currently working on his third to be released sometime next year. On October 23rd he also dropped a brand new single titled, "Talk About It," and has been spending his time away from Tribal Seeds playing countless shows up and down the west coast in support of his newest work. His solo runs from earlier in the year not only included several headlining shows, but also featured Gonzo with his long-time backing band, Beyond I Sight, playing direct support for reggae legends, Inner Circle, as well as Jamaican female artist, Etana.
With the recent announcement that Fortunate Youth has received over 20 million plays on Pandora, the six-piece band is clearly enjoying an equally successful year. On Cinco de Mayo they released their newest album titled, "Don't Think Twice," which quickly went on to become the band's second straight album to hit #1 on both the Billboard and iTunes Reggae charts following 2013's Grammy Nominated "It's All A Jam."
The band is also coming fresh off their second nationwide headlining tour of the year with the completion of the Don't Think Twice Fall Tour featuring San Diego's Stranger and Sensamotion from New Jersey while also making appearances in Guam and Hawaii earlier in the year. The buzz around their Sunday morning performance on the main stage at the 2015 California Roots Music and Arts Festival is also still very much alive as they have been invited back for next year's festival held in Monterey, California, and will also be making an appearance at the event's "Carolina Sessions" held in South Carolina on April 9th, 2016.
While the two have come together at various hometown shows to support one another, Fortunate Youth and Gonzo have never officially been featured on the same bill since going their separate ways. Both artists focus their music around the notions of love and an undeniable passion for Mary Jane, making their shows HIGHLY enjoyable for anyone seeking a night full of positive music and good vibrations. While Gonzo may leave his microphone to play bass on a song or two during his set, Fortunate Youth's members frequently switch off between keyboards, bass and guitar throughout their live performances.
"We're all just friends and family so it's nice to make the link with Gonzo again," says Fortunate Youth's Jered Draskovich. "We can't wait to see everyone stoked and in an Irie State of Mind!" Rising new-roots-reggae artists and fellow Los Angeles residents, Iya Terra, will join the two bands on all three shows.
Fortunate Youth perform on Saturday, November 28 at The House Of Blues in Anaheim at 8:00 p.m. with Gonzo (backed by Beyond I Sight), Iya Terra, Chris Murray and Build A Machine. All Ages. $12.