Bastard Winos
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Bastard Winos

Huntington Beach, California, United States | INDIE

Huntington Beach, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Hear Say!"

"Sweetwater's voice is a rich, meaty -timbred marvel; few white boys have sung black music as convincingly..Harlis Sweetwater, may turn out to be the best blue-eyed soul singer in history...Sweetwater pushes his impressive natural talents to the furthest limits.."
- Buddy Seigle, OC WEEKLY

"Grunting, Hollering, pleading with ardor-filled note -stretches that define soul singing, allowing breaks and imperfections in his delivery to remain because of the intensified, spontaneous feeling they can convey, Harlis does what soul men do, and makes it sound as if he was born to do it."
- Mike Boehm, L.A.TIMES

"..a natural at heart filled soul,recalling (Otis) Redding or Al Green .."
-Mike Boehm,L.A. TIMES

"From the heart, Harlis Sweetwater,you know instantly the real deal is upon you. This man knows the blues."
- Lucky,Sugarbuzz Magazine

"Harlis Sweetater is the best vocalist in any genre"
-Robert Kinsler, The Register - OC Weekly, L.A. Times, The Register

"Hell Raiser"

Bastrad Winos ~ By Lucky
(SugarBuzz Hollywood)
SugarBuzz Magazine

Hell-raiser: one given to wild, boisterous, or intemperate behavior….namely an individual that partakes in the Orange County outfit Bastard Winos.

Hard drinking and hell-raising is what's in store for those who dare to hang with these bad boys. Spearheaded by our guitar slinging homie Harlis Sweetwater (the ruffian who brought you Thrill Deluxe), fronted on saucy slices by Chile Thomas, and powered by the rock solid Garcia boys (Chris and Greg, bass and drums respectively). So get your fire in the can, find some shorts for smoking, cause were going downtown with the Bastard Winos.

Get ready to boogie on down as "Storm Called Me' starts to brew. Channeled by blues legend gods and a good dose of Boone Farm Apple this opener is a big swig from the jug. Switched up vocals from Chile and Harlis give it good. Halrlis is big blue lung, while Chili is the wood chip, both down right distinctive.

"Rock Me" is a super straight ahead Harlis charged vehicular slaughter. Down home finger picking with super solid bad. Bass rooted and punctuated for that feel good deep penetration. Slamming Twitty.

Clap your hands together and raise a holler, "Mexican Girl" sports the stuff with some god damn great vocal melodies, barrio motif, and enough spice to make your eyes water. Clean ass old school rock n south of the border roll.

Boogie Woogie in the yard as "Lonely Dog" gets caught being taught some new tricks. The likes of Perkins and Cochran may cast a shadow at this outlaw hop. Beat on your suitcase, swing and shout, Bastard Winos are going out.

Nothing better than a "Warm Woman" to set a soul free. Or tie it up in knots. A swampy intro ala Stray cross fades to Hook and the Show. Edgy and strong. Greg hits hard.

"Bottle of Ink" sounds like Canned Heat doing The Standels. Yeah, it's that good! 12 –Bar Blues, and I am not talking about the nights of my infamous pub crawls. Harlis and Chile just get frantic. What the fuck? Great big legged women? Count me in!

Mix Godfather of Soul, Sly and his Stones and Paul Butterfield and you get the styling of "On My Way". Super danceable upbeat and just ripping guitar with super fucking fly Chris bottom.

Stand behind me Satan, "100 Proof Juice" of Traveling Man Berry Richard. Shuffle on up and get your fill. You are gonna have some fun tonight. Duckwalk optional.

"9 Gates" lead to eternal bliss on the golden road of rock. Repetitive under texture makes the necessary foundation for the layers of sediment a top. Funky Railroad goes off the tracks.

Closing out and last call, "Orange Blossom" is some down and dirty scrape your knees while you hit the ground blues. You can't fake shit like this, live it or go home. You've been there or you haven't. Separates the real deal from the pretender. Fucking killer tone as Harlis makes her cry and cry and cry. OMG!
Blues, old school jam, real deal rock. Can you dig it? Better get it.

- Sugarbuzz Magazine

"The Real Deal"

Orange Pop: Local acts release a spring bounty of new albums
Special to the Register

Bastard Winos "Empty Bottles …"(independent) – If members of AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd joined forces with blues greats Howlin’ Wolf or Muddy Waters, the sonic outcome might well sound like the new debut from Bastard Winos.
Fronted by singer Chile Thomas, the rip-roaring outfit also includes guitarist-singer Harlis Sweetwater, bassist Chris Garcia and drummer Greg Garcia.
- OC Register

"Rock n' Roll Muscle"

The Footnote Interview!~By D.J. Kirkbride

The Bastard Winos are four guys who just want to have a good time rockin’ and rollin’. Made up of Harlis Sweetwater on vocals and guitar, vocalist Chile Thomas, Estaban Camacho on drums (stepping in for original drummer Greg Garcia), and bassist Chris Garcia, the band has been playing shows in the Orange County, CA area and have a newly released CD for your listening pleasure. Here, Harlis and Chile talk with the footnote about their musical mission…

How did you Bastard Winos get together?

Harlis Sweetwater: We all had the same prison pen pal! Naw, fer real, I’ve known Greg and Chris Garcia for a long, long time. We always wanted to do a project together, but it never seemed to materialize. Recently Greg had to split outta state for reasons we can not disclose, but we have a great new cat in the band, Estaban Camacho playin’ drums for the band now. He’s a cool cat and a great drummer! Chile is my brother-in-law and sings in a band Thrill Deluxe used to play shows with a while back, and I asked him if he wanted to jam with us. But what happened was, I wanted to get back to the roots of what I like to do, and that’s soul and blues music. It’s what I’m most comfortable doin’. I also wanted a side project I could be in that didn’t have the pressure of "trying to make it." I don’t wanna worry about writing a hit or how many people show up at a show and all the bullshit that goes with being in a band. The Bastard Winos are laid back. We’re up there to drink and have fun and play music as a family. If people jump on the train... cool... if not then we’re still doin’ what we do.

Your sound is pretty bluesy, as you said, but with lots of rock ’n roll muscle… Was this a conscious decision? Or did the music just naturally evolve when the four of you started playing together?

HS: Dang man, I like that term "rock ’n roll muscle." Can we use that? When people ask us "What do you sound like?" or "How do you describe your sound?" we can say, "Rock ’n roll muscle, fool"! Ha ha. No ain’t a conscious effort. Nothing we do is. That’s the beauty of the BASTARD WINOS and being in this band. We just bring in the songs and start jammin’. Everyone throws in what they wanna do, and there ya’ have it! It’s all just a mesh of what we grew up listening to and the kinda music we love to listen to and play.

Chile Thomas: Yeah, that is it! We wanted a project where the music moved, whether it was blues, soul, country, rock, or punk it -- just had to be something ya’ wanna get outta your chair for. Damn, I am sick of barstools, benches, and chairs! Burn ’em and let’s party! Interact ya’ know.

Is this band really made up of bastards? You seem like nice fellas…

HS: Make no mistake. We are ALL complete Bastards.

CT: LOL! Yep!

Your CD will be out by the time this interview goes online… Was it a challenge capturing your live sound in a studio environment? How was the album recorded?

HS: Our goal was to go in and record pretty much what we do live. There are over dubbed rhythm guitars on each track, but basically we went in, set up, and rolled tape. We wanted everything in one or two takes. Chile was in the booth doin’ the vocals, and we were set up in the studio room all together playin’ live. Then, as I said, I would over dub a rhythm guitar and do my vocals. The important thing was to capture the energy, and I think we did that really well. We intentionally did wanted an UNDER produced record. Ya’ know when ya’ go back now and listen to Zeppelin or the Stones or Chuck Berry, any of those old records the mixes are really shitty, but they capture a vibe and energy, and that’s what we wanted to achieve. We weren’t concerned about the mix of the song, just the vibe and performance.

CT: Basically, we had all recorded big digital multi track monsters with our other bands and were thinking we wanted this album to be the opposite. You know what I mean? More raw and dirty, more true to our roots and what we are trying to express. We wanted those extra studio sounds, laughter when we choked on a part or extra squeaks when I bit the spit guard on the mic -- more like we enjoy and have in the studio and at live shows.

You’ve been playing shows in the Orange County area, and it looks like you have quite a few coming up… How’s the reception been?

HS: Ya’ know it ’ s been really cool; I think people are really diggin’ our songs and the way the band runs. Ya’ know everything’s about drinkin’ and havin’ a good time and people seem to really be latchin’ on to that. I think they feel it’s a refreshing change to other bands that are out there honing their skills and show. We don’t do smoke and lasers and practice what to say in between songs and all that crap. We load in order our drinks and play what ever we feel. We don’t do set lists; we write down the songs, but we call ’em out as we feel ’em.

CT: I think people - The Footnote


Empty Bottles -Full Length (2008)
Bastard Winos 4 - EP (2010)



Formed in 2007 by former vocalist of the critically acclaimed Orange County CA Soul band Barrelhouse,Harlis Sweetwater,created BASTARD WINOS in an effort to get back to his roots.

After the break up of BARRELHOUSE in 2001 and a short stint with the alternative rock/indi band THRILL DELUXE, It was time to get back to the blues.

What started out as "just jammin'" with friends, quickly turned into a full fledge recording and touring band with Jimmy Sena on Drums, Chile Thomas on vocals, Chris Louis on bass and Harlis sharing lead Vocals and playing guitar.

The band played a handful of local shows, jumping rapidly to festivals and larger scale events, one particular highlight was being asked to support ZZ TOP on their 2009 tour with Aerosmith.

The band put out their first Album "Empty Bottles" in 2008 which was very well recieved and garnered great reviews. The band continues to tour and is currently working on a new record for 2011.