By Mike McKenney, Rock At Night New England
Single Review: The California Honeydrops’ – “In The Air” – Released Date May 15, 2020-Tubtone Records
Genre: Street Corner Soul, Roots, Delta Blues, Bay Area R&B, New Orleans style
The Honeydrops have come a long way since guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland subway station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street level feel.
Their latest single “In The Air”, is a timely song about love lost and the good old days when there was “Music all in the air”. Reflecting back on a life in full bloom, and longing for his love to return and “Drop the color into this world of grey”, Lech’s vocals are reminiscent of James Taylor. Light and easy, it’s surprising to learn that he was born in Warsaw, Poland, and he learned his vocal stylings from contraband American recordings of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong, and later at Oberlin College and on the club circuit in Oakland, California.
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 to support Wierzynski’s vocals. As for their live performances, it will be interesting to see how Honeydrops, adapt to whatever the new normal will be. Known for their highly interactive shows, their concerts are more like parties, feature extensive offstage jamming.
“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.
Check out “In The Air and catch the bands live streaming performances every Friday at 6pm PACIFIC via the band’s Facebook & Instagram, with a percentage of any proceeds going to charities.