The California Honeydrops
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Crossing genres from roots and blues to R&B and soul, The California Honeydrops' sound is tied together by their instrumentation, vocal harmonies and New Orleans style. The Honeydrops' more unusual instruments include a home-made gutbucket bass, jug, and washboard. Their rhythms are punctuated by trumpet, piano riffs, and bluesy vocals.
Born in Warsaw, Poland, band leader and front man Lech Wierzynski started 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 launched his own career in Oakland. Having accompanied artists such as Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, and Jackie Payne, Lech has been schooled by some of the biggest names in American music and grown equally adept as a trumpeter, singer, and guitarist.
The rhythm section of The California Honeydrops is fueled by the barrelhouse style of Oakland piano veteran Chris Burns (Albert Collins, Freddie Hughes, Maria Muldaur). Rotating between tub bass, jug, washboard and drums are Nansamba Ssensalo (Jug Free America, Blue Roots) and Ben Malament (Terry Reid, The Marvelettes, Dale Spaulding).
Their first album, Soul Tub!, with all original songs was released in November 2008. Their second album, Spreadin' Honey was released in the summer of 2010. A studio album, funded by Kickstarter, is in production in mid-2012.
The California Honeydrops played a U.S. & Spain tour in 2012 including appearances at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival.
In 2009 The Honeydrops added Johnny Bones on sax.
The California Honeydrops released their 3rd full-length original studio album on April 19, 2013. The band is following their release by embarking on their eighth European tour, a West Coast tour, and a performance at New Orleans Jazz Fest.
- Soul Tub! (Tubtone Records, November 2008)
- Spreadin' Honey (Tubtone Records, July 2010)
- Honeydrops Live (Tubtone Records, April 2012)
- Like You Mean It (Tubtone Records, April 2013)