California Honeydrops | SFJAZZ
Bay Area roots band California Honeydrops pull together New Orleans second line, funk, Delta blues and Southern soul influences, bringing an unstoppable party vibe in raucous performances that have endeared them to fans worldwide. Led by Warsaw-born vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lech Wierzynski, the Honeydrops have certainly come a long way since their formation in 2007, busking in Oakland BART stations for rush hour commuters. As a child, Wierzynski learned to sing from the contraband Ray Charles and Sam Cooke records his parents owned, and after moving to the States, he studied with trumpet luminary Marcus Belgrave before eventually settling in Oakland and forming the Honeydrops with drummer Ben Malament. Since the release of their debut, 2008’s Soul Tub, the band has toured relentlessly on the festival circuit, building a fiercely devoted fanbase and expanding beyond the jug band influences of their formation – utilizing washtub bass and washboard – and imbuing the music with a contemporary vitality. Last year saw the release of the band’s fifth album, A River’s Invitation, which led to two sold-out nights at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium and an opening slot on rock icon Bonnie Raitt’s national tour.
Lech Wierzynski vocals, trumpet, guitar
Johnny Bones tenor saxophone, clarinet
Lorenzo Loera keyboards, melodica
Beau Bradbury bass, percussion
Ben Malament drums, percussion