The California Honeydrops go wild in the studio for a new album
In their fourteenth year together, soul/R&B favorites from the Bay California Honeydrops hitting the ground post-lockdown running. Tour dates and festivals have returned, including the Honeydrops’ first headlining show at Red Rocks, and, much to the delight of the band and fans, the band have returned to the recording studio to create a new full album. Today, Honeydrops share the very first taste of their upcoming release. Weakness—out October 7th.
“Takin’ My Time” kicks off with a slinky groove the Honeydrops are known for, having made a career out of their signature blend of Bay Area R&B, Southern soul, Delta blues and second-line music. New Orleans. With tasty horn section interjections dancing around well-timed background vocals, “Takin’ My Time” embodies exactly what guitarist, trumpeter and lead vocalist Lech Wierzynkski wanted to channel with the song’s lyrical content – as he describes, “Slow down, clear your social media, smoke some weed, watch the sunset, get out of the rat race.
The Honeydrops have come a long way since Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Beaullieu started playing in an Oakland subway station, but the band has stuck to that organic, street-level vibe. Listening to Lech sing, it may come as a surprise that he was born in Warsaw, Poland, and raised by Polish political refugees. He learned his vocal styles from smuggled American recordings by Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong, then at Oberlin College and on the club circuit of Oakland, California. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Bradbury on bass, they built a powerful sound to back up Wierzynski’s vocals.
Fans can listen to “Takin’ My Time” now at this link and pre-order or pre-register Weakness before its release on October 7 here. This year also marked the Honeydrops’ return to live music with their first headlining date at Red Rocks as well as performances at festivals across the country including FloydFest, High Sierra and Burning Man, and now, The California Honeydrops will kick off their national tour. Lil Bit Of Lovin’ Tour in Napa on September 9th. A full list of tour dates can be found below or at cahoneydrops.com.
Soft Spot Track List:
honey and butter
It’ll be OK
Nothing at all
I miss you baby, pt. 1
I take my time
In your arms
little bit of love
sneak into paradise
I miss you baby, pt. 2
More on Honeydrops drummer Ben Malament’s Soft Spot: “The first thing a lot of people tell us after seeing the band play live is ‘Man you all LOVE playing together!’ That’s why Soft Spot is such an important album, because we couldn’t play and settle down as a full band like this for almost two years! After a few of us recorded the Covers from the Cave album, strictly from home for our quarantined fans, it was a pleasure and a privilege to all let loose together in the beautiful Oakland studio, bouncing over each other with creativity, jokes and sweat, with Thai food and donuts, day after day, night after night. The music on Soft Spot speaks of this joy and diligence. Sometimes we recorded when we were very sick or had tight muscles – getting old is hard! Sometimes we would record on our birthdays and have a cake next to the mics. When you have good sounds, you can’t stop! And all the sounds we were getting were good. Very well. And that’s where recording is easy.
“We continued the tradition of the Honeydrops album of bringing in many special musical guests to bless the studio with their magic. “, has good ears and maybe more patience to keep the session going for hours. Leon Cotter and Scott Messersmith became staples of the Honeydrop sound, filling the room with the band feel we could cling to. to lean on.
We recruited Kid Wonder and Oakland native, Oliver Tuttle, with his beautiful energy and ideas and the “Ponchatoula Powerhouse”, Miles Lyons, came over from Louisiana to add a whole new low end to our music!
“This album has our unique Honeydrop take on many styles of music, all in a cohesive production style so there’s no confusion. There’s no proof. Only groove. ‘Soft Spot’ is special, we can’t tell you how happy we are to have succeeded and bring you these new songs.
Catch the California Honeydrops on Tour:
September 9 – St. Helena, CA – Charles Krug Winery
September 10 – San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Rally
September 11 – Perris, CA – Same But Different Festival 2022
September 19 – Buena Vista, CO – Ivy Ballroom at the Surf Hotel
September 20 – Crested Butte, CO – Arts Center
September 22 – Telluride, CO – Sheridan Opera House
September 24 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up
October 14 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theater
October 16 – Flagstaff, Arizona – Yucca North
October 18 – Durango, CO – Animas City Theater
October 19 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
October 21 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom
October 22 – Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads
October 23 – St. Louis, MO – The Marquee
October 25 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
October 26 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
October 27 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
October 29 – Indianapolis, IN – HI-FI Annex
October 30 – Ferndale, MI – Magic Bag
October 31 – Kalamazoo, MI – Bell Brewery
November 2 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
November 3 – Portland, ME – Aura
November 5 – New York, NY – Sony Hall
November 6 – Boston, MA – Royal Boston
November 8 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
November 9 – Washington, DC – Lincoln Theater
November 11 – Charlottesville, VA – The Jefferson Theater
November 12 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
November 13 – Highlands, NC – Highland Food and Wine Festival 2022
January 15-22, 2023 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Sandy Beaches Cruise 2023