Bunch Creates Sweet Sound|
Honey Child combines a
variety of musical styles
By Rachel Beatty
Touring to promote a new CD can be
grueling work, but live performances are what the band
Honey Child does best. And USC will get its own Honey
Child show tomorrow night on the Russell House
During the past 18 months, Honey Child has
worked on its second album, "Taller." Grammy-nominated
Clarke Rigsby produced the album, which is a thorough
"We put out our first album in
1997. We were together a year, so we just threw it
together," said Honey Child vocalist Heather Higgs.
"This album is three or four years after the first.
We've played many more shows, and have had a lot more
practice writing music and throwing away
The new album also incorporates a
15-piece string orchestra directed and arranged by
Emmy-award-winning composer Kevin Stoller. Notable
players include Sam Pilafian, who has played tuba for
Pink Floyd and the Boston Pops, and Kenny Skaggs,
mandolin player for the Glen Campbell Band.
Child, however, has become known primarily for its live
shows. Through constant performing, the band has
attracted many fans and much praise. Honey Child was
selected to perform on the H.O.R.D.E. tour and named
Arizona's best unsigned band in the Kool Band 2 Band
Combat Competition. The Arizona Republic newspaper
called Honey Child the best straight-ahead rock band of
The members of the band hail from up and
down the East Coast, but they came together in Arizona.
The focal point of the group is Higgs, whose vocal
talents have drawn comparisons to Janis Joplin and Grace
Slick of Jefferson Airplane. Guitar player Jason
Montero, from New Jersey, also sings a few tracks on the
new CD and often offers harmony to Heather's
Dino Gisiano made the leap from chemical
engineer to musician with ease. He writes a lot of
music, along with "Open D," a column for Fender's online
music magazine, 60 Cycle Hum.
Joe Frost brings to
the band his brand of Afro-Cuban drumming, which he has
been playing for more than 40 years. Drummer Greg Lisi,
known as the "cute one," is another New Jersey native.
Steve Green, the bass player, manages a wide variety of
musical styles in his performances and is a veteran of
the Arizona music scene.
The band has moved its
headquarters, however, from Arizona back to the East
Coast, specifically Charlotte, N.C.
little strange out West, not too many people," Higgs
said. "The population is denser on the East Coast, which
has potential for more work. We've been touring out here
for the past three months, about 10 or 15
The new CD is easy to get into; many of
the tracks are laid back, but the album has just enough
upbeat songs to bounce to. The interplay between the six
musicians is well-balanced, and no particular sound is
Higgs' voice provides an emotional
edge, and Montero's complementary vocal harmonies add
detail to many of the songs. "Naked" especially shows
off Higgs' powerful voice and the string orchestra. The
sound avoids the poppy and juvenile sounds of the
current mainstream and is reminiscent of the rock music
from the 1960s and 70s.
"Our influences do
include sounds from the '60s and '70s, which was more
musical than today," Higgs said. "It was music for
music's sake, not like today, which just follows current
tastes. It isn't a throwback to that era, though; our
own sounds comes through."
The band, which
believes live performances define it best and bring its
fans closer, has played all over the nation. Honey Child
has also performed with a number of well-known artists,
such as Gypsy Kings, Blues Traveler, Barenaked Ladies,
Fastball, Ben Harper and Box Set.
p.m. show will mark Honey Child's first in Columbia.
Admission will be free. The CD "Taller" is available for
purchase online at www.honey-child.com, which also
features three of the album's tracks in streaming audio