“Nobody really wants to lose a good thing / But I see it again and again,” sings The California Honeydrops’ soulful lead vocalist Lech Wierzynkski, floating above the Bay Area R&B-tinged sound he and his band have become loved for over their last fourteen years together. “Nothing At All,” the latest single from the Honeydrops’ upcoming album Soft Spot, rides a mid-tempo groove with elements of Allen Touissant’s New Orleans-y arrangements, George Benson’s laid-back vibe, and sweet, high vocals a la Curtis Mayfield ballads. The band sets the vibe, and in less than three minutes, Wierzynkski tells a story about what he calls “unintended consequences.” “We all want something we can hold on to,” says Wierzynkski. “We may destroy everything trying to get a little certainty and safety.”
The Honeydrops have come a long way since Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland subway station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street-level feel. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Beaullieu on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound to support Wierzynski’s vocals; a sound very present in “Nothing At All” as well as its B-Side, a righteously groovy cover of Sam Cooke’s “Good Times.” A special treat for Honeydrops fans, new and old, “Good Times” is a happy reminder to have fun and let loose, just as the band did with their funky arrangement of the beloved tune.
Fans can hear “Nothing At All” now right here, “Good Times” at this link, check out previously-released Soft Spot singles “I Miss You Baby Pt. 1” and “Takin’ My Time” at their respective links, and pre-order or pre-save Soft Spot ahead of its October 7th release right here. Fans can also pre-order Soft Spot on vinyl here or CD here.
Tomorrow, The California Honeydrops will kick off their nationwide Lil Bit Of Lovin’ Tour in Napa, California; a run of shows that will take the band from sea to shining sea over the course of the next three months. A complete list of tour dates can be found below or at cahoneydrops.com.
Soft Spot Tracklist:
Honey and Butter
Gonna Be Alright
Nothing At All
I Miss You Baby Pt. 1
Lil Bit Of Love
Sneakin’ Into Heaven
I Miss You Baby Pt. 2
Takin’ My Time
In Your Arms
More About Soft Spot from Honeydrops drummer Ben Malament: “The first thing many people say to us after watching the band perform on stage is “Man, you all LOVE to play together!” That’s why Soft Spot is such an important album, because we didn’t get to play and hunker 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 privilege to let loose all together in the beautiful Oakland studio, bouncing off each other with creativity, jokes, and sweat, with Thai food and donuts, day after day, night after night. The music on Soft Spot speaks that joy and diligence. Sometimes we recorded when we were hella sick or had pulled back muscles—getting older is tough! Sometimes we recorded on our birthdays and had cake next to the mics. When you get good sounds, you can’t stop! And all the sounds we were getting were good. Really good. And that’s when the recording is easy.
“We continued the Honeydrops album tradition of bringing many special musical guests to bless the studio with their magic. Sousaphones, strings, space echoes, it’s all here. Our engineer, Jacob LaCally’s, aka ‘Cubby's,’ fine ears and maybe finer patience kept the session rolling through the hours. Leon Cotter and Scott Messersmith have become staples of the Honeydrop sound, filling the room with the full band sensation we could lean back on.
We enlisted the Kid Wonder and Oakland native, Oliver Tuttle, with his beautiful energy and ideas and the ‘Ponchatoula Powerhouse,’ Miles Lyons, dropped in 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 under a cohesive production style so there’s no confusion. There’s no provin’. Only groovin’. ’Soft Spot’ is a special one. We can’t tell you how happy we are to have made it and to give you these new songs.”
Catch The California Honeydrops On Tour:
Sept. 9 - St. Helena, CA - Charles Krug Winery
Sept. 10 - San Luis Obispo, CA - SLO Gathering
Sept. 11 - Perris, CA - Same Same But Different Festival 2022
Sept. 19 - Buena Vista, CO - Ivy Ballroom at Surf Hotel
Sept. 20 - Crested Butte, CO - Center for the Arts - SOLD OUT
Sept. 22 - Telluride, CO - Sheridan Opera House
Sept. 24 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up
Oct. 14 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
Oct. 16 - Flagstaff, AZ - Yucca North
Oct. 18 - Durango, CO - Animas City Theatre - SOLD OUT
Oct. 19 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf
Oct. 21 - Denver, CO - Mission Ballroom
Oct. 22 - Kansas City, MO - Knuckleheads
Oct. 23 - St. Louis, MO - The Big Top
Oct. 25 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club - SOLD OUT
Oct. 26 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
Oct. 27 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
Oct. 29 - Indianapolis, IN - HI-FI Annex
Oct. 30 - Ferndale, MI - Magic Bag
Oct. 31 - Kalamazoo, MI - Bell’s Brewery
Nov. 2 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
Nov. 3 - Portland, ME - Aura
Nov. 5 - New York, NY - Sony Hall
Nov. 6 - Boston, MA - Royale Boston
Nov. 8 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
Nov. 9 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
Nov. 11 - Charlottesville, VA - The Jefferson Theater
Nov. 12 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
Nov. 13 - Highlands, NC - Highlands Food and Wine Festival 2022
Jan. 15-22, 2023 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Sandy Beaches Cruise 2023