The Austin-based funk and soul band Honey Made follows up their recent EP, Couple Few, with their debut studio full length album Brand New. For Honey Made, the new album is an ode to looking forward, finding that newness in life that can make it so interesting, from love, to a journey, to a new musical venture, Brand New takes on so many meanings. Brand New is due out November 6th everywhere you stream music.
Honey Made is a nine piece band, and an Austin, TX staple. They have uniquely honed their sound on stage and on many tours, with various iterations of the band before coming upon the final sonic signature for Honey Made. Willie Barnes II, vocalist and songwriter, comments “We are breathing fresh air into the soul genre. A lot of soul bands are trying to recreate a specific old school sound so much that there is no originality or advancement in the genre. This is a soul record on steroids.”
Honey Made consists of Willie Barnes II, Vocals; Donald R Ford Jr., Vocals; Brian Cokeley, Keys; Lee Braverman, Bass; Chris Barnes, Drums and Vocals; Mark Saldana, Percussion; Dustin Hunter, Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone; Joseph Morrow, Trumpet and Flugelhorn; and Donald McDaniel, Trombone. Together, their throwback sound recalls the likeness of soul legends James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, and Earth Wind and Fire and adds a modern take on slamming primal soul fused with their R&B roots. A great sound that drew the very talented Grammy Award winning producer Steve Berlin to the project.
When Steve Berlin came on the project as producer, he had one small request, that the band recorded at the legendary studio Texas Treefort Studios in Austin. Donald M. recalls, “It is a unique experience with much of the gear vintage analog gear put together by Jack Rock – Viewpoint Records. He has an extensive career in the aerospace industry and used that knowledge to put together the studio console, power amps, preamps and mixers to create the warmth of an analog recording with the capabilities of digital technologies.” Tracking the new album with Steve took some time, as the band worked under Steve’s tutelage and tightened up their sound, rearranging the backing horn lines, even shipping in a new snare drum just for the right sound. Donald M. continues, “Steve was always pushing us in a good way to be better musicians. I remember notables like Kevin Russell of Shinyribs stopping by to listen to the recording!”
Today Glide is excited to premiere the standout opening track “Chicken Sweats,” a funky number that celebrates the crispy goodness of fried chicken and the bond of the band. Focused on the unity that comes from sitting around and savoring fried chicken together, the song hits with a rambunctious wall of brass and swaggering vocals. Throwing funk, R&B and Gulf Coast Soul into one spicy basket, the song captures the musical chemistry of this band with musicians all vibing together and vocal interplay that grabs your attention. “Chicken Sweats” definitely feels like a party anthem, but its made even better by the fact that it celebrates one of life’s greatest culinary pleasures. Of course, the band even throws in some funkified chicken picking guitar to really hammer it all home.
Willie Barnes II describes the inspiration and process behind the song:
“Fried Chicken is Honey Made’s life blood. It’s what brought us closer together in the early days. We would always fry some up at practice or just go to our favorite chicken spot and hang out. One practice our guitar player ate his chicken a little too fast and started sweating. I asked what’s wrong and he said “I got the chicken sweats.” He and I wrote the song after that. Our songs are about things we all experience which is awesome because of the makeup of our band. No matter what color or age we all have so much in common once we get to sit around a table full of chicken and talk.”