Great music begins with great songs, and great songs are what the Honey Island Swamp Band is all about. The band came together when 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. After a chance encounter with fellow New Orleans evacuees Sam Price (bass, vocals) and Garland Paul (drums, vocals), and 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 weekly 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. Honey Island Swamp Band’s music 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. The addition of a Hammond B-3 organ to the HISB family in 2010 has rounded out the band’s sound, which 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.
Soul Brass Band is exactly what it needs to be: a great New Orleans Brass Band steeped in tradition that also plays the perfect party. Day after day in New Orleans, this all-star lineup is called upon for its top-flight traditional Brass Band repertoire and Second line Parades; and then night after night, they’re called upon again for frontman Derrick Freeman’s signature brass band infusion of classic Soul.