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Philly Reggae-Ska

Mike Pinto
Mike Pinto

What do booze, Philadelphia and reggae-ska have in common? Mike Pinto

Pinto is a Philly-born singer-songwriter who cut his teeth playing at punk rock shows and the occasional coffee shop. Since the Philly rock scene wasn’t his jam, Pinto moved to San Diego, where he connected with the Sublime-loving community. Life in Philadelphia taught him how to be a storyteller, he says, and California helped solidify his “reggae-ska” sound. 

Pinto isn’t into pumping out ooey-gooey love songs. He sings about darker matters but with an upbeat melody, like selling your soul and living at the whim of alcohol-induced emotions. “Bad Luck” from 2013’s Truthful Lies, for example, is a bright tune where Pinto melodically describes drinking away his paycheck while being caught in a cycle of shit-luck. 

He recently moved to Eugene with hopes of expanding his sound yet again. Folk and Johnny Cash influences are in store for his next album, which he plans to release in the summer of 2017. 

“I don’t like to stick to one genre,” Pinto says. “It gets a little boring.” 

Catch an acoustic performance by Mike Pinto 9 pm Sunday, Aug. 28, at Sam Bond’s; $5. — Kelsey Anne Rankin