By Lily O’Brien
In an era when ’60s and ’70s tribute bands are all the rage (particularly this year, the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love), it’s refreshing to find Luvplanet, a Petaluma-based band that draws its influences from bands of that time—Led Zeppelin, the Who and the Rolling Stones—but plays all original music. Voted Marin’s Best Band in 2016 by Pacific Sun readers, Luvplanet plays on Saturday, June 17 at Smiley’s Saloon in Bolinas.
“Basically we’re a rock band with a lot of pop ingredients and harmony vocals, but we like our psychedelic music and we like our blues and our country and we just try to mix it all together,” says guitarist, singer and songwriter Mark McGee. “Diversity is something you can always expect from us.”
Luvplanet was founded in 2003 when a friend invited McGee to sit in on a recording session with singer/songwriter and guitarist Nicole Sutton. They ended up connecting both personally and musically, and after a couple of years of friendship and musical collaboration came marriage. “We did the unthinkable and crossed the line,” McGee says with a laugh.
“Our music is so much about the energy, the vibe—there’s a feeling in the room,” he continues.
Luvplanet, which also includes bass player Tommy Sisco and drummer Michael Amos, is like a family. “You realize after doing this for awhile that the ‘hang’ portion is really important,” McGee says. “You have to enjoy the people you are spending all this time with. Luvplanet is probably the most genuine thing I’ve ever done.”
McGee says that the band has big dreams, and would like to be touring full-time.
“We love doing the music—we love the art of it,” he says, “and we feel like there’s something big waiting for us.”
Luvplanet, Saturday, June 17, Smiley’s Saloon, 41 Wharf Road, Bolinas; 9pm; 415/868-1311; smileyssaloon.com.