When you take the R&B groove of the Bay Area, blend it with a little New Orleans Street Jazz and add a hearty dash of classic soul, you get the latest single from The California Honeydrops, “Takin’ My Time.” The titillating new single hit streaming services on August 11th in anticipation of the band’s upcoming album, Soft Spot.
After being together for an impressive 14 years, the band hasn’t lost any momentum, and understandably have only strengthened just how tight they are. A beyond impressive live act, we caught the band at Delfest back in May, and they were easily one of the top three acts we saw.
Before the band was formed, drummer Ben Malament and singer/guitarist Lech Wierzynkski started busking the subway stations of Oakland, adding on members and eventually completing the full-band sound of The California Honeydrops that we know today. Although a band is often ever-evolving, they’ve stayed true to their roots of loving the authenticity and heart of street music.
“Takin’ My Time” honors those roots, but has a polished sound that makes one reminisce on the glory days of funk and Motown. The slow soul jam begins with a Sly and the Family Stone-style brass sound, leading into the track that allows Wierzynkski’s dynamic vocals to take the driver’s seat.
Despite having the smooth vocal style of the crooners of the 50s and 60s American music scene a la Sam Cooke for starters, Wierzynkski is actually from Poland, and was raised by Polish refugees.
“Takin’ My Time” is a great song to help take a load off while you chill with your friends or family, and soak in the last few moments of summer.
The California Honeydrops also have an ongoing project called Spreadin’ Honey– a partnership with local nonprofit organizations to give back to the communities they stop by on tour. A percentage of money earned from merchandise goes to these organizations, and they even allow representatives from each one to set up a table to share their cause during shows.
Regarding the upcoming album, Malament said, “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!
He went on to say, “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.”
Soft Spot will see the light of day on October 7th.
The California Honeydrops begin their nationwide tour on September 9th, where they’ll bring their love of soul music and community across the U.S.
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
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