It’s been almost a decade since Lech Wierzynkski and Ben Malament began jamming in Oakland BART stations, blasting their way into unsuspecting ears with horns, guitar and Wierzynkski’s soulful howl. While the intervening years have found Wierzynkski and his expanded band of pro players exploring a wide swath of American musical styles – from Dixieland jazz to Delta Blues and contemporary funk – the infectious energy and charm that they brought to those original ad hoc performances remain undiminished.

The Hash caught up with Wierzynkski and Malament just before their set at this year’s Emerald Cup to share some of their favorite songs for smoking. Their choices don’t just illustrate their passion for far-reaching music, but shine insight into the deep inspirations for their own songwriting as well.

Songs Heard in this Episode:

California Honeydrops – When It Was Wrong

Frankie Beverly and Maze – Happy Feelings

Curtis Mayfield – Moving On Up

Louis Armstrong – When the Saints Go Marching In

Louis Armstrong – Stardust (Hoagy Carmicheal cover)

Ornette Coleman – Indigo Mood

Pink Floyd – Echoes

And for our Bay Area listeners, be sure to check out the Honeydrops’ New Years Eve extravaganza at Berkeley’s UC Theater, where they will be joined by the riveting R&B / pop ensemble The Seshen.