In the news

Typically, when the name Smiling Skull comes to mind, a gritty, in-your-face biker bar is a fairly common impression. And that is all well and good, but when parents are in town, it would be sensible not to let on that one of your favorite bars is also frequented by the Sons of Anarchy on the weekends.

Conveniently, Vinnie and the Lubricators are set to smooth it down Saturday night with a lineup of songs sure to satisfy show-goers of any generation.

All pop culture jokes aside though, the Smiling Skull is a comfortably rustic, hard-rocking scene that always provides a good time. Vinnie Mele, guitarist, lead-singer and front man for the Lubricators, is definitely excited for the show.

“The Smiling Skull is an excellent venue where a great melting pot of people always comes together,” said Mele. “And since it's Parents' Weekend we want to get some people out on the dance floor and please the crowd.”

Vinnie and the Lubricators encompass a wide range of genres in their music, offering elements of classic rock, blues and soul with hints of reggae and funk thrown in the mix.

“It all goes back to roots music for us. We offer a lot of originality and creativity and we love to jam,” said Mele. “We're all about spontaneity and really feed off each other.”

Vinnie Mele of Vinnie and the Lubricators

“It all goes back to roots music for us. We offer a lot of originality and creativity and we love to jam. We're all about spontaneity and really feed off each other. We're not very in-your-face, but we're not a shy band either. We like to take [the audience] on an emotional ride through our set.”

The band provides a plethora of all-original tracks, but is also notorious for its inventive, spot-on covers of acts like The Beatles, Junior Wells and Eric Clapton.

“We're not very in-your-face, but we're not a shy band either,” said Mele. “We like to take [the audience] on an emotional ride through our set.”

The members of Vinnie and the Lubricators—whose name is derived from their shared love of mechanics and cars especially—have a laid back composure and a tight synchronization like that of a well-oiled machine.

Vinnie Mele with his rich blues-style vocals is joined on stage by Chris Shepard providing steady beats on the drums, Michael Tobar bringing the keys to life and Jeremy Harmon laying down tasty bass licks.

These are some hometown boys, too. Mele is an OU grad and most of the band has their roots in Marietta and Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Vinnie and the Lubricators are joined by pop-rock singer and Athens local Mindy Braasch, who kicks things off at the Smiling Skull at 10 p.m. this Saturday. Mele praised Braasch for having being an excellent songwriter and having a very talented voice.

So if you want to give your friends and family a glimpse of the Athens night life and music atmosphere and you're craving some rockin,' funky, bluesy tunes get down to the Smiling Skull Saloon on Saturday night for a kickass show.

Reviews

The Marietta Times

“One of the Mid-Ohio Valley's premier musicians”

ACRN News

“With experience comes refined skill, and Vinnie Mele has plenty of experience.”

The Columbus Dispatch

“The ultimate crossover band”

Union Hall Theatre

“Thank you for a great performance. You brought the crowd right out of their seats, exactly how we hoped!”

Brickstreet BBQ Festival

“Your music was great as always! You added a great spirit to the evening and everyone enjoyed your music so much. Thank you and thank you again.”

The Adelphia Music Hall

“Your show is always top notch, energetic and full of variety.”