By Rayme Samuels
The Down Home Southernaires want Miami to dance and be entertained by their antics, even if the person next to them doesn’t quite get it. They want people to break out of social confines and challenge the status quo with a smile, just like they do every time they hop on stage.
They are a throwback to the days of the Southern gentleman, complete with leisure suits, cigar pipes, handkerchiefs and Cuban heeled shoes — a rare find in a city where bling reigns supreme. Each member has a different persona off stage, from photographer to food connoisseur to anthropologist to painter of Rottweiler portraits. The off-center group of locals are Humberto Jose Castello (keyboard, vocals), Jorge Rubiera (drums, vocals), Jarrett Haan (bass) and Kris Pabon (guitar).
This foursome has traveled the country, spreading their idiosyncratic ideologies in places like Wichita, Brooklyn, Peoria and Sioux Falls. The members of DHS find musical inspiration in an eclectic variety: The Band, Nina Simone, Randy Newman, Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento, Elvis Costello and Fela Kuti. Their creative process goes as follows: "Someone comes to practice with a large chunk of a song (usually Jose) and we learn it, warp it and destroy their original intentions. Once this has happened, the song belongs to DHS," explains Rubiera.
All three albums — Negro En Bicicleta, Down Home Southernaires Summer Tour LP and their debut Down Home Southernaires — are littered with colorful songs with titles like "Grandma Was a Christian Woman," "Israelis on the Beach" and "Fishing Wire of Feeling." Stay tuned for a new album coming out this summer.
For more info go to www.myspace.com/thedownhomesouthernaires.