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, Wierzynski launched his own career in Oakland. Having accompanied artists such as Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, and Jackie Payne, Wierzynski has grown equally adept as a trumpeter, singer, and guitarist.
The rhythm section of The California Honeydrops comprises the barrelhouse style of Oakland piano veteran Chris Burns. Rotating between tub bass, jug, washboard and drums are Nansamba Ssensalo and Ben Malament.
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. The California Honeydrops played a U.S. & Spain tour in 2012 including appearances at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival. They released their Like You Mean It on April 19, 2013. The band followed the release by embarking on their eighth European tour, a West Coast tour, and a performance at New Orleans Jazz Fest.
They released their fifth album on September 11, 2015. The band sold out two nights at The Fillmore in San Francisco in support of the album, and then embarked on a United States tour. They toured Australia for the first time in November 2015, returning in 2017 and 2018 to play ten gigs at Byron Bay Bluesfest.
They opened for Bonnie Raitt on the Spring and Fall legs of her 2016 US Tour. They opened for her again in Hawaii and Australia in the Spring of 2017.
- 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)
- A River’s Invitation (Tubtone Records, September 2015)
- A Higher Degree (Tubtone Records, 2015)
- "The California Honeydrops Debut Album "Soul Tub!" Released". News.allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "Tour Dates | California Honeydrops". Cahoneydrops.com. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "Tour Dates | California Honeydrops". Cahoneydrops.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.