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Hemptones

The Hemptones are currently on hiatus, but you can enjoy these tunes until the Zoogma kids book another gig. ;-)

   HALLOWEEN WITH THE HEMPTONES
RECORDED 10/30/08 AT PROUD LARRY'S, OXFORD MS 
Jaro DOWNLOAD
Woy Oy DOWNLOAD
Warning DOWNLOAD
Rock Fort Rock DOWNLOAD
The Whitest Boy Alive DOWNLOAD
Never Love for Chaffey  DOWNLOAD

 

THE HEMPTONES:

Jeff Callaway - electrohorns, vox

Matt Harris - drums, samples

Justin Hasting - guitars, keys

Tom Queyja - guitars, vocals 

Dave Woolworth - bass, vocabules

Here's a nice article about The Hemptones from The Daily Mississippian back in the day.

Originally Printed in The Daily Mississippian on Sept. 19, 2008
The O-Scene

by Alex McAdams

With the right strobes and dimmers, any band can look good, but the musical goods are necessary to solidify the breast-beating machismo of an all-male band. Let’s just say The Hemptones have got the goods.

With members of both Zoogma and the Kudzu Kings, the music – psychedelic/acid rock, Rastafarian-style reggae, a splash of big band, rolled up with a touch of funk – seems an unlikely combination, even for Oxford, but The Hemptones have made a reality out of the imagined love child of The Doors, Bob Marley and George Gershwin.

The typical electric and bass guitar, drum set, keyboards, trumpet and trombone (yes, a trumpet and trombone) were present Wednesday night at Two Stick, and this somewhat makeshift jam band blew me away.

Dave Woolworth, the same guy from the Kudzu Kings I interviewed last week, is also the bassist for The Hemptones, and the way this band came together is totally random.

Woolworth attended a Zoogma show during the summer, and the Zoogma guys approached him with a project.

“They told me, ‘If you ever want to do something with this psychedelic thing, we’re interested,’ and I automatically said, ‘Let’s do it!’” Woolworth said.

“Whatever project – well, most projects – I do is different. This is a cool one,” he said.
A keyboard, a drum set and a guitarist are not unusual for a band, but a trombone and a trumpet player will definitely make a passerby on the Square stop at the propped-open door and listen. I would know; I watched them.

When The Hemptones crashed into their first song, the entire contents of the restaurant clamored to the front of the facility. Strobes were used, colorful lights went off and the trippiest music (and trust me, I’ve heard some crazy stuff) I’ve ever heard came from the small Two Stick stage. But the trip didn’t outweigh musical ability as the composition and the unity of the members was apparent – they even swayed in unison during their moment of musical euphoria.

It was a spiritual experience, and even though my escort left early to get some sleep, I stayed longer, drinking beer and enjoying the experience.

During their performance of epic-length pieces, my note-taking abilities were interrupted when I swear I heard a hint of “Rhapsody in Blue” (hence the aforementioned Gershwin reference) intertwined with driving rock rhythms and a funky swag.

I could tell by looking out into the crowd that their audience was a faithful one. Woolworth confirmed my suspicions.

“I’m psyched about it, and people are psyched about it too. And if people are psyched ... well, you do the math,” he said.

“We’re at a starting point right now,” Woolworth said of the band, which began playing as an official group in June. “We’re at a point to where we can run with it.”

With the intrigue of a permanent trombone/trumpet player in the group, I had to know where the hell he came from. And where else? Oxford: A nice (a most random and unique) place to live.

Jeff Callaway graduated from Ole Miss with a bachelor of music degree and continued his music education at Vandercook College, where he received a master’s in music education. Now he’s back in Oxford playing music and teaching music. His last endeavors were instructing the Quitman High School band camps from 2003-07 and the Ridgeland High School band camp in 2007.

Other members of The Hemptones include Matt Harris on drums and Justin Hastings on guitar. Wednesday, the guys had guest guitarist Tom Queyja.

With the groove and tight-knit chemistry, it’s difficult to believe The Hemptones have only been playing as a collaborative effort since June.

As I write this column, I am left with the image of Callaway immersed in a blue spotlight while ghostly lifecast portraits of blues artists eerily lined the walls of the restaurant.
While Callaway played the trombone that reminded me of the drones of an aboriginal didgeridoo, the band broke into a breakdown that even the loneliest of scene kids can hardcore 2-step too.

You don’t get much more diversity than that.