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Honeydust hails from Marin County, Calif., home of rock 'n' roll legends Santana, Metallica, Green Day, Sammy Hagar, Journey, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Primus and many others. - Photo by Garth Parr

A rock 'n' roll pedigree

What could presumably be called "sin" by some and "fun" by others, is called good ol' rock 'n' roll by California-based band Honeydust.

"We sing about lovely women, fast cars, drinking and pretty much everything that concludes with having a good time," says singer, sonwriter and guitarist Darren Nelson. "For some reason — well, it's obvious — they're songs about sinning."

In a 12-day, 10-gig Northwest tour, the California rock band plans to present its high-energy show at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, at Johnny B's, 35 S. Bartlett St., Medford. The whirlwind Oregon circuit is just a preview to a more extensive tour next spring.

Honeydust prides itself on a vast and well-crafted, original repertoire. After the release of its debut album earlier this year, the band is poised to find a place among its Southern rock heros.

Besides Nelson, the band is lead guitarist Danny Uzi, bassist Mike Weiss and drummer Lee Ray Bittner.

The band's debut album, "California Sunshine," boasts seven original tracks.

" 'Christina' is my favorite song," says Nelson. "It's got a really unique sound and vibe. Most of the record has that '70s Southern groove, but 'Christina' has this modern, My Morning Jacket sort of sound."

With the help of recording engineer Chris Manning, the group recorded the drums in the studio and added the other layers of music later.

"When we were done, we brought it back to Chris Manning, and he mixed it with his stellar ears," says Nelson.

Only months after "California Sunshine" was released, Honeydust already has its sights set on recording a second album this fall.

"The songs start with this very crafted framework," says Nelson. "I lead in, and Danny (Uzi) knows exactly what I'm doing and makes it really powerful."

Nelson formed the band nearly five years ago as the musicians' paths crossed. He and Bittner, a highly sought-after drummer in the area, had played together in several projects around Marin County, Calif., just north of San Francisco. Uzi met Nelson after he approached him about writing a rock opera. Uzi, a local guitar "hot rod," is recognized as the frontman for swamp-rock sensation Chrome Johnson.

Nelson hosted an acoustic show in Fairfax, Calif., where he met Weiss.

Cover to the band's show, which Nelson promises will be a good time, is $5

"We try to keep it hoppin' throughout the live show," he says. "If everybody's dancing, we wanna keep them dancing."

For more information, see www.myspace.com/honeydust or call 541-773-1900.

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