PITTSFIELD -- Ben Jaffe, a 2003 graduate of Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown and now living in Los Angeles, is excited to come home.

Jaffe and his partner, Suzanne Santo, will perform as the band HONEYHONEY on July 4 at the Vermont Arts Exchange in North Bennington, Vt. Jaffe plays guitar, sings and plays the drums; Santo sings and plays violin and banjo.

HONEYHONEY (or HH as the duo dubs themselves) will play with Guitar Jam alums Bella's Bartok in Vermont.

The duo has opened for artists like Sheryl Crow and Ryan Bingham. They have been touring regularly for about six years nationally. Their song, "Thin Line," recently appeared on an episode of "Vegas," and they appeared on "Prairie Home Companion" on June 22.

HONEYHONEY have released a CD, "Billy Jack," which is also available on vinyl.

Jaffe, who is presently on tour, spoke in a phone interview about his band, his musical preferences and where their band name came from.

 

Berkshires Week: "HONEYHONEY" is an interesting name. What's the origin?

Ben Jaffe: Naming a band can be one of the more laborious processes I've encountered. The fact is, we had a record contract, but we didn't have a band name. So we just started going down the list. And HONEYHONEY was something we agreed on. I didn't like it that much, actually.

 

BW: Where is Suzanne from?

BJ: Cleveland, Ohio.

 

BW: How did you meet?

BJ: I moved to Los Angeles after graduation to work as a musician. We met through a recording engineer, who thought we'd be a good fit.

 

BW: I just listened to "Billy Jack" [the band's latest release], and there seem to be a lot of influences there. How do you describe what you guys play?

BJ: Ah, we get put into the ‘Americana' category, but that doesn't really fit. We don't pay much attention to standard song structure or standard lyrical structure. We've also been described as ‘genre-hopping,' but I don't know how accurate that is, either.

 

BW: OK. So if you had to describe it, what would you say?

BJ: I don't know. ‘Rootsy, song-driven music'? We play a really wide range of [stuff].

 

BW: What were your influences growing up?

BJ: Mine? Well, I listened to a lot of music my father listened to: Gershwin, Mozart, operas. But my older sister was a child of the ‘90s, and she exposed me to Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Beck. I listened to a lot of jazz in high school. So it's a mix.

 

For more information about HONEYHONEY, go to honeyhoneyband.com, or go to its Facebook page, both of which feature merchandise, band bios and band videos.

To reach Derek Gentile:
dgentile@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6251.
On Twitter: @DerekGentile