Honey Island Swamp Band
Great music begins with great songs, and great songs are what the Honey Island Swamp Band is all about. The band came together after Aaron Wilkinson (acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Chris Mulé (electric guitar, vocals) were marooned in San Francisco after the levee breaches following Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and had a chance encounter with fellow New Orleans evacuees Sam Price (bass, vocals) and Garland Paul (drums, vocals). They’d all worked together in New Orleans bands for years, but with no prospects of getting home any time soon, they figured they’d better cook up something new, and quick! A few days later they had put together a song list, landed a recurring gig at San Francisco’s Boom Boom Room, and settled in to share a little taste of Southern culture with their new West coast neighbors. Their 7-song eponymous debut was recorded in 2006 at famed studio The Plant in Sausalito, CA, and was received so well that they all decided to continue the band upon moving back to New Orleans in early 2007. Honey Island Swamp Band’s sound has been described as “Bayou Americana”, with timeless songs from Wilkinson & Mulé, highlighted by Mulé’s searing guitar, Wilkinson’s sure-handed mandolin, and 4-part vocal harmonies, all anchored by the powerful groove of Price & Paul’s Louisiana stomp rhythm section. Their music draws from a variety of influences in the world of roots music, including artists such as Lowell George & Little Feat, The Band, Taj Mahal, Gram Parsons, Jerry Garcia, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Reed, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and New Orleans’ own Earl King and Dr. John. In April 2009, the band released its first full-length album – Wishing Well – produced by Tom Drummond of Better Than Ezra. Throughout the rest of 2009, the band toured relentlessly in support of Wishing Well, on the strength of such songs as “Natural Born Fool”, “Till the Money’s Gone”, and the album’s title track. In January 2010, Wishing Well was named 2009’s “Best Blues Album” at OffBeat Magazine’s BEST OF THE BEAT Awards, where the band was also honored as 2009’s “Best Emerging Artist”. The newest offering from HISB – Good To You – was released in April 2010, and has quickly become a staple of most DJs on the Crescent City’s legendary radio station WWOZ, as well as on Sirius/XM satellite radio’s Bluesville and traditional stations from coast-to-coast. Featuring the southern strut of songs such as “Be Good”, “300 Pounds” and the album’s first single “Chocolate Cake”, Good To You illuminates the mix of country-inflected rock and New Orleans funky blues that makes Honey Island Swamp Band’s music so familiar and unique at the same time.