Smokey Hormel has assembled a stellar lineup of New York musicians (David Hofstra on bass (and tuba), Davi Viera and Meia Noite on percussion, Doug Weiselman on clarinet (and baritone-sax), and Clark Gayton on trombone) 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 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."