Hill Country Live Presents
The California Honeydrops
410 7th St. NW
Washington, DC, 20004
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 8:30 PM
The California Honeydrops
“Though from Oakland, their Southern-fried jazz is so authentic that [audiences] may wonder whether they’ve been transported to the Big Easy.”
“The album is a collective of feel good sounds and it is impossible not to tap your foot and smile while listening. Better than the individual songs, though, is the potential that the songs have for raucous live performances.”
Digging deep into the roots of American music, The California Honeydrops embrace the traditions of Blues, Gospel, Second Line New Orleans Jazz, and early R&B. With stellar performances of traditional material as well as their own innovative music, The California Honeydrops get people out of their seats and onto the floor, dancing, sweating, and singing along.
Since their formation 4 years ago in the subway stations of Oakland, CA, The California Honeydrops have completed 6 European tours, spread honey on crowds throughout the US, and recorded 2 full length albums of original music, all without the help of a record label or major booking agency. Their secret? An irresistible sound that blends the energy and intimacy of a street performance, undeniable talent and musicianship, and the soul and fervor of a spiritual street parade.
Born in Warsaw, Poland, band leader and front man Lech Wierzynski began playing blues and jazz as a teenager at after-hours jam sessions in Washington D.C. After studying trumpet with Marcus Belgrave (Ray Charles), Lech continued his career after moving to Oakland, honing his craft with some of the biggest names in American music, such as Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, and Jackie Payne, allowing Lech to grow equally as a trumpeter, singer, and guitarist.
The vibrant rhythm section of The California Honeydrops is fueled by the unprecedented energy of saxophonist Johnny Bones (Eddie Palmiere, Nell Carter, Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums), and drummer Ben Malament (Terry Reid, The Marvelettes, The Jelly Roll Souls). Currently touring with The CA Honeydrops is Doug Stuart on bass, and Charles Hickox on keys.
See them perform once, and you won’t be surprised why they were voted the SF Bay Area’s “Best Soul/R&B Band”. Nominated for “Best New Artist” by the National Blues Foundation (2009), and recently receiving 5 East Bay Express Reader’s Poll awards (2011) including “Best Band”, “Best Album”, and “Best Musician”, with a highly anticipated live album due to release in late 2011 and an upcoming East Coast tour, consider The California Honeydrops to be unstoppable!
"The California Honeydrops, from Oakland, are the most refreshing act to roll down the blues highway in some time. Few groups before them have melded so many strains of African American music into such a seamless whole."
-Lee Hildebrand, Living Blues Magazine, Livingblues.com