On the Verge: honeyhoney

Santo and Ben Jaffe, the two core members of California band honeyhoney, were incredibly amusing to witness in person with their back and forth wisecracks and playful sarcasm. Their conversational chemistry lends itself well to their music, which pulls from rootsy stylings and adds them to the roster of impressive new Americana and folk musicians. But in a sea of sharply dressed boy-girl indie duos, honeyhoney raise the bar with their obvious talent and lack of pretense.

Playing with them on drums and bass were Gerry Porter and Pat Taylor, two of the touring members of the band. The three songs they performed — “Angel of Death”, “I Don’t Mind”, and “Ohio”– come from Billy Jack, their second album, which was named after a flop movie which subsequently acquired a cult following. The songs showed off Santo and Jaffe’s effortless vocal pairing and also echoed their good-natured personalities with lyrics like “I’ll be laughing when I go down with this ship” from “I Don’t Mind”.

Between songs, Santo said that that their aims with the record were to capture how they sound live, to which Jaffe added, “We keep aiming for this kind of real band experience, which, we’ve only just recently gotten together. ‘Cause now we have Pat playing bass and Gerry playing drums, so I feel like we’re getting to the point where we can cut this record that really will be representative of a band sound.”

After the live mix, Santo and Jaffe helped explain Fraikus, a social media tradition of theirs which simply boils down to them posting a haiku on their Facebook page every Friday. “It was something we kind of did once or twice, and then it became this thing where we get really excited to post one every Friday,” said Santo. “And so it’s really cool when someone shares their haiku. Sometimes they’re incredibly disturbing and have to do with defecation, for some reason.”

The WERS team had the pleasure of seeing them perform at South By Southwest in March and are looking forward to seeing them again at the Newport Folk Festival this coming July. Between now and May 25th Honeyhoney are touring with James Morrison with stops in Philadelphia, New York, and DC, as well as performing at the Royale in Boston on Saturday, May 19th.  They will then be touring across California with Sheryl Crow for the month of July.

By Sarah Ruggiero
Photo by Ella Zander

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