Smokey's Secret Family

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smokey hormel at sunny's

photo by Susanne Sasic

Smokey Hormel has assembled a stellar lineup of New York musicians (Doug Weiselman, Clark Gayton, Davi Viera, Meia Noite, David Hofstra) for dynamic live shows as well as the studio recording of Smokey's Secret Family's self-titled record.


Smokey produced and played multiple instruments on the nine song 2009 release Smokey's Secret Family. A collection of songs by African groups from the 1950s, "it's not the Highlife or Soukous sounds that became popular in the 70s," says Smokey. "It's that magical moment just before the heavy influence of American Soul, Funk and Rock and Roll, the pre-James Brown era of urban African dance music. There are no big drum kits, no loud amplifiers, just wild guitars bursting through small amps afloat on a sea of hand drums and shakers, often with a very distorted bass or maybe even a tuba pulsating underneath it all. It's more Latin than western. It's not Funk. It's Cha Cha, Mambo and Rhumbas, and it all has that very contagious and danceable groove."

play music

Louise Marie Wa Motema from Smokey's Secret Family
secret family cover

Guitarist Smokey Hormel and his stellar New York band resurect classic '50s African dance music with electric guitar, tuba, trombone, clarinet, percussion and more. Nine songs released in 2009.