About Honey Made

Meet the band.

Donald McDaniel

Trombone

Dustin Hunter

Tenor and Baritone Saxophone

Joseph Morrow

Trumpet and Flugelhorn

Donald Ford, Jr.

Vocalist

Willie Barnes II

Vocalist

Chris Barnes

Drums and Vocals

David Thacker

Keyboards

Lee Braverman

Bass

The Honey Made story, from the beginning .

Austin’s Honey Made bring back memories of legends like James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, and Earth Wind and Fire with their modern take on slamming primal soul and focus on their R&B roots. Having shared the stage with George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic, Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars, The Motet, Lee Fields, Roxy Roca and Flow Tribe, the band has already made quite a name for themselves locally, and are currently planning on rapidly expanding their audience beyond the Austin scene.

Originally the band was known as Mama K & The Shades. The band came together in 2014 with founding members David McKnight and Kelsey Garcia. The pair had a fortunate crossing of paths when Garcia came to McKnight’s attention while guesting on a cover tune for his band. McKnight, a very established musician in the Austin area, and known for playing with many outfits as a saxophonist (most notably Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears), was growing tired of the supporting role that he’d fallen into for many years and decided to put together a group of his own. “He quit the band and asked me to come over and write some lyrics to some tracks he had, then within two days we had like, three songs completed.” The duo went out on a mission to put together an army of funk, rock and soul musicians that could not be ignored amongst the ever growing and overcrowded local scene. Slowly they recruited friends and veteran musicians from the area, and Mama K and the Shades started playing smaller gigs around town in the summer of 2014. That fall, they added horns, and the 10-piece ensemble started playing out on a regular basis for the most of 2015. They also played an important and most memorable show, as the closer for George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at The Empire Control room in late spring 2015.

Austin’s Honey Made bring back memories of legends like James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, and Earth Wind and Fire with their modern take on slamming primal soul and focus on their R&B roots. Having shared the stage with George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic, Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars, The Motet, Lee Fields, Roxy Roca and Flow Tribe, the band has already made quite a name for themselves locally, and are currently planning on rapidly expanding their audience beyond the Austin scene.

Originally the band was known as Mama K & The Shades. The band came together in 2014 with founding members David McKnight and Kelsey Garcia. The pair had a fortunate crossing of paths when Garcia came to McKnight’s attention while guesting on a cover tune for his band. McKnight, a very established musician in the Austin area, and known for playing with many outfits as a saxophonist (most notably Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears), was growing tired of the supporting role that he’d fallen into for many years and decided to put together a group of his own. “He quit the band and asked me to come over and write some lyrics to some tracks he had, then within two days we had like, three songs completed.” The duo went out on a mission to put together an army of funk, rock and soul musicians that could not be ignored amongst the ever growing and overcrowded local scene. Slowly they recruited friends and veteran musicians from the area, and Mama K and the Shades started playing smaller gigs around town in the summer of 2014. That fall, they added horns, and the 10-piece ensemble started playing out on a regular basis for the most of 2015. They also played an important and most memorable show, as the closer for George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at The Empire Control room in late spring 2015.

‘Honey Made’ (the record) was recorded and then released in February of 2016 to an eager audience.

In June of that year the band was struck with disaster. David McKnight lost his life in a tragic swimming accident. In the wake of the tragedy, the remaining members of the band were unanimously filled with the desire to keep going in the name of the ‘McKnight Train’ (as they affectionately called him) and the knowledge that McKnight would have given the band family his full blessing. They took that emotion and heart felt energy to the studio and laid down their debut album.

Honey Made continue to build a reputation as a great high-energy fun party band with some serious musicianship and deep soul. After the band released their debut album, “Honey Made,” in February 2016 they received the March of 2016 Artist of the Month from ‘The Austin American Statesman’, played the ‘Texas Reds’ and ‘Old Pecan Street’ festivals. The band played two official 2017 SXSW showcases to a great response. They continue to play regionally and toured Colorado following SXSW in 2017, as well as preparing material for their highly anticipated follow up release.

Kelsey Garcia Left the band in the fall of 2017 and the band rebranded under the name “Honey Made” in homage of David McKnight who often referred to great music as “Honey Made.” The band entered the studio in 2017 and 2018 to complete it’s second studio album.

The band is planning the release of its second album, “Brand New,” in 2019. The record is produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos with Audio Engineer Jim Vollentine and mastering by Paul Blakemore.

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