Whether they’re performing live or jammin’ in their studio, Tim McCaffrey, Skeez Nava and Kevin Burkling enter another realm when they play their music. Three to Get is a Rock N’ Roll band who incorporates genres like funk, jazz, punk and folk into their tracks. Tim McCaffrey is the lead singer and guitarist, Skeez Nava is the band’s bass player and Kevin Burkling is the drummer and vocalist. Coming from varied musical backgrounds, they have different tastes and experiences which all share a place within their song writing.
When these guys are in a room together with their instruments, there is nothing else that matters. They are hilariously dissatisfied with anything unrelated to throwing their exorbitant personalities into creating euphonious music. Tim will often say that they are still just kids, when they’re together; goofy, loud teenagers who still feel the thrill of discovery and magic in daily life.
In past years, they experienced the trials of being in a traveling band. From bitter jealousy to painful fallouts, they all know the curse that comes with tight quarters, traveling and little to no privacy. In Three to Get, they agree that this is different. There is no judgement; they accept each other for everything and they work out their issues upfront. “We have cohesive goals and personalities,” says Tim, “which is magic for a band! The three of us are now a family and anyone else who enters our musical circle feels like a visitor at this point.” They prioritize keeping their band family together no matter what.drummer as well as
Tim was the first of the three to play as Three to Get. Along the way there were others in the band. Yet with day jobs, family and traveling, not everyone stayed. Kevin joined Tim next, and Skeez landed his spot in the trio just over a year ago. “I called Skeez up to see if he could fill in for another member,” Tim explained, “He had to learn two hours of music in about a week and he nailed it!”
Tim and Skeez have been friends since late 2006. They have daughters the same age who are best friends. Yet, with all of the history between them, they still hadn’t been able to perform together professionally. After that first show in 2019, Skeez and Tim knew it had to continue. They had waited 14 years to play together and the timing was perfect.
Leading up to these days Tim had an impactful music career underway. In 2010, The Little Fuller Band came to fruition and for the following years Tim toured with his bandmates around the world. Their focus was set on folk music, with Tim as a singer, guitarist and primary songwriter. He loved playing in a group who was as serious about creating music as he was. The Little Fuller Band was popular within the folk scene, but the group wasn’t built on a lasting foundation. It fell apart after they tasted their first bit of success. The fallout was rough on Tim as well as the band and after it ended, he took time off from performing. In hindsight, he sees that his time with The Little Fuller Band gave him incredible experiences which enabled him to grow into the person and musician he is today with Three to Get.
Tim has quite an eclectic personality. His creativity for lyricism is inspired by everything in life from his love for his wife and kids, to the changing tides of society. Today he writes mostly ideas inspried by a riff or a hook, dabbling in a variety of genres, then brings it to the band to expand on. Three To Get’s sound is further influenced by Skeez’s Hardcore Metal and Ska background and Kevin’s punk and jam band roots.
Kevin was a drummer in Santa Cruz and Bay Area scene. He was living in the Santa Cruz area in the earlier years of his music career. He opened for Taj Mahal at the Catalyst, along with many of the bands who came through Moe’s Alley. The jam band scene he came from gives Three to Get those roots by affiliation. While venturing down in Santa Cruz, Tim met Kevin once, before they were friends. Kevin notes how “serendipitous” it is that they ended up living near each other in the mountains and working together as bandmates.
Kevin is a fantastic drummer who honestly makes it look a little too easy. He keeps time with notable adaptability and striking rhythm for synchronization. While the role of a great drummer depends deeply on active listening and quick reaction, Kevin nails it. His instincts perfectly complements Tim and Skeez, which is the ideal equation in a trio.
The three have conveyed, that when there are only three musicians in a band, one mistake can set everyone back. With four or more members, it’s simpler to hide the little mistakes from an audience and prevent it from permeating through the music. This is one of the reasons they get together as much as possible.
Skeez Nava, the band’s newest bass player, is a creative genius who speaks the language of rhythm. Visibly, Skeez doesn’t seem to be affected by anything around him during live shows. He nods to the notes and rocks out with eyes closed, in another world where he lives with the cadence that carries his soul. We snapped a photo of them live during a recent show at the Dardanelle Resort in California that captured this perfectly in the colorful stage lighting (above).
Skeez used to tour and perform with various groups in Southern California. He lived a chaotic life on the road, touring with different bands like Stymie and Dork. Going from a touring musician for hire to a full time band in the mountains ended up being a monumental change in his life. He is an incredible bass player which has given him free reign when it comes to collaborating with bands who work at a heavy pace. Creating new masterpieces with Tim and Kevin is where he found his calling. Skeez speaks highly of his bandmates “We spend a lot of time together and we’re all genuinely excited to see each other. There’s a tight bond here that shines through our work. We understand and emulate the way the others are feeling and playing.” This is so very clear to audience members who get to see them live. The power trio is in sync from beginning to end, with smooth transitions between each song.
Three to Get is booming with music creation. They have enough content to record three albums, having already finished their first EP “Elektro Suite” in 2020. With another one in the works, it will be awe-inspiring to see what comes of them in the next few years. The tangible songs that come from their family dynamic further instills the belief that they were meant to be together. It’s a “bromance” to top all others – one that brings melodic soul food into the world.
Kevin, Tim and Skeez can’t live without making music. Having the solitude of living in a world without performances has given them plenty of time to plan out the depths of their rhapsodic endeavors. They believe that there is a shift occurring in the underground music scene, and they are bridging the gap between leading genres from the past and the genre of tomorrow. It may be growing ever-difficult to fully classify the new wave with so many influences in the mix, but for now, they call it Three to Get.