Soul of San Diego

Tori Roze and the Hot Mess seeking kindred spirits in San Diego.
  • Tori Roze and the Hot Mess seeking kindred spirits in San Diego.

Three and a half years ago, singer/songwriter Tori Roze played her first show with her current band the Hot Mess at the now defunct Portugalia in Ocean Beach.

“The owner loved the turnout, so we made it a weekly Wednesday-night event,” says Roze. “We moved it to the Ruby Room on Tuesdays in June because Portugalia unfortunately closed down after being open for eight years.

“The theme is generally female-fronted bands, but there is so much male talent out there that we have honorary men bands. I use it as a platform to get performances out there that people wouldn’t normally get to see or know about it. I play out a lot and go to shows a lot so I gather all these random talents and throw a party.”

Talents past at Roze’s “Ruby Tuesdays” include Veronica May, Sister Speak, Steph Johnson, Josh Damigo, Christy Bruneau, Starcrossed, As Human (aka RYAT), and Bitter Sober.

“Bitter Sober weren’t a band until I randomly booked them one night,” says Roze. “They quickly snowballed and became very popular and got signed.”

Ruby Tuesdays asks a suggested $3 donation for the artists, but don’t let a lack of cash keep you from checking out the event.

“The reason it’s suggested is that if people are broke, we understand,” says Roze. “We don’t want you to miss out. It’s a bummer to make art inaccessible to people just because they can’t afford it.”

A multiple San Diego Music Award nominee, Roze laments the tendency toward genre biases in the local music scene.

“It’s hard being a soul-based band in San Diego because we’re not indie rock,” says Roze. “We play a lot of house parties, but we don’t get a lot of love from venues. So we’ve banded together as a collective with people like the Styletones, Stevie and the High Staxx, the Amanda Wagner Band, Nick Z, and Rob Deez to book shows together. I want to get us all together to listen to good music at good venues. I want to pull together all these scenes that are seemingly separate and share the love. That’s where I’m coming from with Ruby Tuesdays. It’s a big, wet blanket of love.”

Get under the covers on December 27 with a Karina Frost CD-release party and performances from Lillian Lefranc, Destructo Bunny, and Lyrical Groove.

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Tori Roze is awesome! I dig her band and she has got sooo much soul for a white girl its just ridiculous.

Great article. I think I might have to check this show out. Being a soul singer in San Diego is tough. It's great to see other artist staying true to their genre. Another San Diego artist, who mixes R&B with soul backed by a strong house beat, is Farrowtone. Check out the article in the local ArtsNFashion magazine about him.

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