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The California Honeydrops play Applegate Lodge

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The California Honeydrops
 Posted: 10:15 AM May 27, 2014

The California Honeydrops don't just play music — this band throws parties.

With its third full-length studio album, "Like You Mean It," the band carries a refreshing new sound and style of music: R&B with New Orleans brass, swagger, blues and a touch of gospel thrown into the mix.

The Honeydrops have come a long way since lead singer, guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in a transit station in Oakland, Calif. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keys and Beau Bradbury on bass, the band has become a strong backup for Wierzynski's vocals while staying true to that organic, street-level feel.

If you go

Who: The California Honeydrops

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 28

Where: Applegate Lodge, 15100 Highway 238, Applegate

Cover: $15

Call: 541-761-9394

The California Honeydrops will perform at 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Applegate Lodge, 15100 Highway 238, Applegate. The cover costs $15. Call 541-761-9394 for information.

Frontman Wierzynski was born in Warsaw, Poland. Raised in Chicago and Washington, D.C., he heard a wide range of music.

"When my dad was growing up in communist Poland in the '40s and '50s, American music was illegal and, therefore, very cool," Wierzynkski says in a press release. "He passed the love of that old stuff on to me ... everything from Louis Armstrong to Sam Cooke."

After studying ethno-musicology at Oberlin College in Ohio, Wierzynski arrived in Oakland in 2004. There, he couldn't help but expand his musical horizons.

"I started playing a lot of blues and soul music in clubs and touring," he says. "There is a rich heritage of that music here in the Bay Area, and I was lucky enough to play with a lot of older musicians who taught me what it was all about."


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