On July 30, the Honey Island Swamp Band‘s Cane Sugar is set to receive its national release courtesy of the recently revived Louisiana Red Hot imprint and thanks in part to more than $20,000 generated through music-based crowd-funding site PledgeMusic. While the album has been available locally since Jazz Fest, Cane Sugar’s national release marks the culmination of a goal the band set upon its completion more than a year ago. Currently, the HISB is in the midst of busy summer touring schedule that spans from New York to California and also includes a stop in Sao Paulo, Brazil before its next New Orleans gig.
But the Honey Island Swamp Band is no stranger to the long road back home. In fact, the hard-working, roots rock outfit forged its sound on it. Formed in San Francisco in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the group came together following a series of jam sessions at the NOLA-friendly, bay-area spot the Boom Boom Room. Before heading home, the HISB cut an EP in SF, and since, the band has released two full-lengths (2009’s Wishing Well and 2010’s Good to You) on its own dime, receiving critical praise and winning fans the country over with each successive tour. In this week’s episode of OffBeat’s Look-Ka Py Py Podcast, the Honey Island Swamp Band’s Aaron Wilkinson talks about the band’s decision to release Cane Sugar with a label, how it got turned on to PledgeMusic and why he and songwriting partner Chris Mule wound up cooking a New Orleans-style dinner at a fan’s house on the group’s last tour.