The California Honeydrops don’t just play music—they throw parties. Led by dynamic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lech Wierzynski, the band draws on diverse musical influences including roots, Bay Area R&B, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second line to bring vibrant energy to their shows. Assembling their five core members plus two to three more world-class musicians each show, the Honeydrops deliver an eclectic performance and innovative recording style, evident in the seven studio albums, three live albums, and two cover albums the band has released since forming in 2008. They recently released their highly anticipated LP, Soft Spot, with a national tour announced soon after.
The band has come a long way since Wierzynski and Malament started busking in an Oakland, California, subway station, but they’ve stayed true to that organic, street-level feel. Wierzynski was born in Warsaw, Poland, and raised by Polish political refugees. He learned his vocal stylings from contraband American recordings of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong, and developed them later at Oberlin College and in Oakland’s club circuit. With the additions of Malament on drums, Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Bradbury on bass, the Honeydrops have cultivated a powerful full-band sound to support Wierzynski’s vocals. 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 and to make people become a part of the whole thing by dancing along, singing, and generally coming out of their shells.”