The California Honeydrops have announced a new studio album, Soft Spot, and shared the first preview with the slow-grooving single “Takin’ My Time”.
Formed in 2007 by singer Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament, who started out busking together in an Oakland subway station, The California Honeydrops developed a sound all their own drawing from Bay Area R&B, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second line. With the addition of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Beaullieu on bass, they’ve earned a dedicated fan base and sterling reputation not just as musicians, but also as world-class performers and entertainers.
The Honeydrops hit the ground running after lockdown let up with tour dates and festival appearances including the band’s headlining debut at Red Rocks. They also hit the studio and recorded their eighth studio album.
Here’s what Malament had to say about Soft Spot:
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.
“Takin’ My Time”, the album’s lead single, showcases the band’s signature blend of styles. With a slow, laid-back groove, sultry vocal harmonies, and sauntering horns, the track exemplifies the easygoing philosophy expressed in the lyrics, as Wierzynkski put it, “Slow down, erase your social media, smoke some weed, watch the sunset, get out of the rat race.”
“Takin’ My Time” is now available on all streaming platforms. Listen to the song via Soundcloud in the player below.
Soft Spot is due out on October 7th. Pre-save the album here and view the album tracklist below.
The California Honeydrops will hit the road for the Lil Bit Of Lovin’ Tour in September, with U.S. dates stretching into January 2023. Click below to view a full list of tour dates, and visit the band’s website for to purchase tickets.
Soft Spot Tracklist:
Honey and Butter
Gonna Be Alright
Nothing at All
I Miss You Baby, Pt. 1
Takin’ My Time
In Your Arms
Lil Bit of Love
Sneakin’ into Heaven
I Miss You Baby, Pt. 2
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
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
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
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