They were the talked about band of Bluesfest 2018 and now we've lured this world class outfit to Dashville in 2019. Please welcome the extraordinary talents of The California Honeydrops.
The Californian five-piece had a big run of shows in Byron Bay last year, and word of mouth saw their audiences exponentially grow in size. By the final night, you couldn't squeeze into the tent to see them unless you'd been eagerly camping out.
The California Honeydrops sprung into 2018 with the Call It Home Tour to promote the release of a new double album, Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2. This band has a reputation as being among the most exciting and dynamic live bands on the planet. With unrelenting energy and a near-encyclopedic knowledge of musical styles, genres and idioms, the Honeydrops have spent a decade playing everywhere from subway stations in their native Oakland, California to sold-out shows in theatres and at festivals all across the globe.
In addition to their own non-stop touring, 2016 and 2017 saw them honoured to support Bonnie Raitt on her extensive North American tour, following past support slots with such icons as B.B. King, Allen Toussaint, Buddy Guy and Dr. John. Whether in those high-profile performances or in more intimate venues where the band itself can leave the stage and get down on the dance floor, the California Honeydrops’ shared vision and purpose remain: to make the audience dance and sing.
The band has come a long way since vocalist, guitarist, and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland subway station. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards and Beau Bradbury on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound drawing on diverse musical influences from Bay Area R&B to funk, Southern soul, Delta blues and New Orleans second-line. All while staying true to the organic, street-level feel of their origins.
More like parties than traditional concerts, their shows feature extensive off-stage jamming and crowd interaction. “The whole point is to erase the boundaries between the crowd and us,” Wierzynski says. “We don't make setlists. We want requests. We want crowd involvement, to make people become a part of the whole thing by dancing along, singing, picking the songs and generally coming out of their shells.”
This will be a Gum Ball performance to remember.