Front man and co-founder, Lech Wierzynkski, was born in Warsaw, Poland, and raised by Polish political refugees. Lech cut his vocal teeth on illegal contraband American recordings of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong. These influences are but a piece of the talented puzzle that is Lech. When you watch this group working at their craft, this tenured, happy ensemble makes it impossible to stand still. Lifting spirits, feet, voices, and hands all in one joyous accord is who they are and what they do.
The California Honeydrops dropped a new cover album in January, Covers from the Cave, on Tubtone Records. They cover many musical heroes, ranging from the Grateful Dead and Don Williams, to Sam Cooke and Chuck Barry. The nine original songs range from rock, folk, and country genres over many decades. Their cover of The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk’’ has reached more than 14 million people.
“We love music,” Malament states when asked how they’ve managed to keep things moving and growing all these years. “We love discovering new music. We love every musician that has played in the Honeydrops over the years and brought their own magical musical sensibilities which constantly pushes us in new directions. We also don’t play too loud, and every show is different! We don’t make set lists.”
Come as you are, fearlessly free. Throw your head back and be moved by a band whose intention isn’t simply to play their music FOR YOU, but WITH YOU. “The whole point,” says Lech, “is to erase the boundaries between the crowd and us…to make people become a part of the whole thing by dancing along, singing, picking the songs, and generally coming out of their shells.”
Photos by: Josh Miller