News and Reviews

Austin360: Honey Made’s soul-stirring debut is the feel-good album 2020 needs

Honey Made’s debut full-length “Brand New,” produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, will drop Nov. 6, but in June, the 9-piece funk crew blessed the city with a much-needed ode to hope. In the video for lead single, “So Good,” a trio of soul stirrers sing down this summer’s strife. A church organ ushers the track in as a camera pans over an aerial of the Black Austin Matters mural painted on Congress Avenue while lead singer Willie Barnes delivers a heartfelt sermon on the challenges we’re facing, from COVID-19 to the “modern day revolution” of the Black Lives Matters movement.

Album Review on Take Effect

The Austin, Texas funk and soul outfit Honey Made follow up their recent EP with this debut album, where the 9 members work together with a playful chemistry that’s both mature and frisky, and even touches on jazz and reggae, too.

“Chicken Sweats” starts the listen with bright horns as plenty of soulfulness and adventurousness enter the R&B influenced atmosphere, and “Brand New” follows with a calmer setting, where smooth grooves unfold with no shortage of warm melodies.

At the midpoint, “Smoove” moves with some nods to reggae as strong vocals guide the agile setting, while “Can You Feel It” recruits a festive spirit that will get your body moving to its Latin rhythm. “Canadian Mist”, an album standout, then flows percussively strong as strategic backing vocals add much to lively climate.

Be True Feature on SoulTracks.com

When someone complains that they don’t make R&B bands like they used to, just point them to Austin, Texas and the nine piect band Honey Made (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). They are bringing classic soul sounds forward to 2020 with respect but not homage.

KUTX Song of The Day for "Brand New"

Though they’ve only been around for a couple years, Austin funk-soul collective Honey Made has a shared lifetime of experience. And while they’ve got no trouble recalling the sound of icons like James Brown or Sly & The Family Stone, Honey Made’s fresh take on the soul genre is anything but saccharine.

The Word is Bond - TOP SUBMISSIONS EP2 APR, 2020

Austin’s genre-bending funk band Honey Made set things off nicely with their self-titled track. The track is rife with all the goodies of the vintage funk-rock and soul jams from yesteryears. The production is super funky and edgy while the vocalists bring that catchy, call and response type performance to the forefront. The band has also been busy producing music. The band’s discography includes the singles “Do Ya?” and “Perfect Getaway” released in June 2019. A music video of “Do Ya? Was released in December 2019. In 2020 the band released the single “Ashy Pockets.” And its first EP “Couple Few” that includes the track “Honey Made.” Get the EP on iTunes.

Austin Uncharted

Austin Uncharted presents Honey Made. Recorded live at King Electric Studio in Austin, Texas.

David Diers Concert Review: Honey Made at Stubbs Indoors 6-22-2019

Nearly halfway through the set Willie Barnes II, set his microphone down and jumped down into the crowd, the audience formed a tunnel as he danced back to the back of the room, the band on stage keeping the groove going, the audience stretching their heads to the back of the crowded room to catch a glimpse of the roving party maker who soon enough was climbing back on stage mic in hand as the band pushed together into another tight chorus.

A&R Factory: HONEY MADE SERVE UP SWEET SOULFUL NOSTALGIA WITH THEIR LATEST SINGLE “PERFECT GETAWAY”

“Perfect Getaway” is the latest Funk driven single from the Austin, Texas-based artist Honey Made which contains enough Soul to induce goosebumps from the first few notes in the prelude.

As the drippings of soul nostalgia intensify in Perfect Getaway, you’ll find yourself in an effervescently shimmering soundscape where every instrumental in the arrangement exudes fluid expression.

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