Levitt Shell

Sun, June 22 · 7:30PM

Clay & Land

California Honeydrops

To those who have seen the California Honeydrops and heard Lech Wierzynski sing and play it may come as a shock that the young frontman was born in Warsaw, Poland. The son of Polish political refugees raised in Chicago and Washington DC, Lech was exposed to wide range of musical influences. “When my dad was growing up in communist Poland in the 40’s and 50’s, old American music was illegal and therefore very cool,” he says. “He passed on the love of old stuff to me: everything from Louis Armstrong to Sam Cooke.”

Like his early influences, Lech has the unique ability to carry a tune casually, conversationally and powerfully as well. But the California Honeydrops are not just another throwback band. “My brother and I had to assimilate to modern American society,” Wierzynski explains, “so we loved all the popular stuff on the radio too, especially Hip-Hop, R&B. Knowing music was our way of proving we were American.” After studying ethnomusicology at Oberlin College, Wierzynski arrived in the Oakland California in 2004. There, he couldn’t help but to continue expanding his musical horizons. “At first,” he recalls, “I played mostly on the street, and then as I got more established I started playing a lot of blues and soul music in clubs and touring. There is a rich heritage of that music here in the Bay, and was lucky enough to play with a lot of older musicians who taught me what it was all about.”

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