Todd Anders Johnson concert Salem

Todd Anders Johnson of Salem, is pictured playing the drums. (Image courtesy of Todd Anders Johnson)

The band Salem blends funk, hip-hop, jazz and Caribbean rhythms together to create socially conscious songs with a lively beat.

Over the last seven years, Salem has toured Alaska 15 times, but tonight at the Rendezvous is its Kodiak debut.

“I’ve been wanting to come over there for a long time,” said Todd Anders Johnson, drummer, singer, and founder of the band. “This time I made a point of it.”

Johnson formed Salem in 2004 in Seattle and was the singer, songwriter and drummer. He reinvented it when he moved to Colorado and found the right players to join him.

“I kind of found the right players who enjoy chasing the snow around the country while doing shows,” Johnson said.

Salem features Johnson on the drums and vocals, Mike Facey on the bass and vocals and Thomas Haupt on guitar.

Most of the band’s lyrics are about making change, being socially conscious and the environment.

“It’s about making change within yourself or people organizing together and making change in their community,” Johnson said. “We’ve partnered up and done a lot of solar-powered concerts around the U.S.”

Salem has been trying to raise awareness about what is happening with the climate and other environmental topics.

They have been traveling with Risan Project tours, which includes Salem concerts, ski and snowboard film premiers and presentations from environmental organizations. The Risan Project works to make people aware of global warming and climate change.

Johnson said he plans to meet with Kodiak Electric Association to learn about the Pillar Mountain wind farm while he's in town.

“In terms of climate and the environment, I think it’s really notable that a remote secluded island in Alaska that’s predominately oil and gas driven has a big renewable program with wind,” he said.

The band’s spring Alaska tour for powder included stops in Valdez, Hains, Juneau, Talkeetna, Girdwood, Homer, Anchorage and Kodiak. After tonight’s show the band will head back to Valdez.

Salem has performed nationally, and has played at many competitive snow sport events like the Winter Games, U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, U.S. Freeskiing Open and the Canadian Freeskiing Championships, among others.

For more information about Salem, visit www.salem-music.com.

Johnson said people should expect a high-energy night with uplifting music. The concert begins at 9 p.m. at the Rendezvous. Entry is $10 at the door.

Contact Mirror Writer Nicole Klauss at nklauss@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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