Herrick & Hooley
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Herrick & Hooley

Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Dallas, Texas, United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Band R&B Jazz





When the lead singer is sick, the show must go on. Such is the nature of show business. So, on this Sunday night at Club Dada in front of a room full of fresh-faced teens with X-marks-the-spot hands, Herrick & Hooley have to put something together even though their lead singer, Ian Olney, is feeling under the weather.

They are young, just graduating from high school weeks ago, but the kids in Herrick & Hooley aren’t a bit perturbed. Their plan B is to perform a few sultry songs from their new record, Famous Honey, and rap for most of the set to avoid straining Olney’s vocal chords. You’d hardly know it was the fallback: His raps are as slick and clean as the beats produced by drummer Hunter Lewis.

Crisis averted.

Adaptability is nothing new for this trio, even if they’re only just now old enough to step out into the world on their own. Herrick & Hooley are from Plano, not exactly the type of place where you expect to find a three-piece band that plays a smart mix of jazz and hip-hop on the come-up. The “come up” here refers to a growing local fan base — the show at Dada is a fundraiser for a DJ whose computer had been water damaged at a house show, but most of the audience is here for Herrick & Hooley. A mention on the FADER’s blog, the current pulse of cool magazines, didn’t hurt, either.

When the guys tried to share the wonderful news at school, they were hard-pressed to find anyone familiar with the publication. “I’m in a crowd of people who have no idea,” says bassist Michael Barnes. It’s definitely time to leave Plano.

How did three kids from Plano get into making soulful jazz? It was thanks to rowdy Odd Future rapper Tyler, the Creator.

“Tyler, the Creator came into our lives in a very formative period,” Lewis says. They say they were introduced to his music when they were 13 and full of the typical prepubescent, suburban angst. Hell, Barnes was in it deep, listening to marquee emo rock acts like Brand New, Blink 182 and All Time Low. After they learned of Odd Future, they became privy to BadBadNotGood, a jazz trio from Canada that’s played covers of Tyler, the Creator’s songs. BadBadNotGood has even performed their jazz renditions with Tyler himself.

For all of Tyler, the Creator’s many transgressions, he’s at least partly responsible for helping a generation of kids shatter the boundaries between creeds, codes and genres. It’s weird that the members of Herrick & Hooley discovered jazz because of him, but such is the power of music.

Naturally, their take on jazz owes a lot to hip-hop. The backpacker rap and neo-soul movement in the ’90s and early aughts particularly inspired their sound. “Hip-hop is fucking amazing,” Olney says. “I’ve listened to hip-hop since I was really little. I listen to hip-hop as much as Coltrane or Brubeck or whatever.”

Herrick & Hooley, three white kids from the suburbs, are quite obviously inspired by music that’s predominantly and historically performed by black musicians. They say they’re drawn to its freedom of expression and, well, its consummate trillness. There’s youthful idealism at play, but above all else, these three musicians demonstrate a refreshing degree of awareness about the world around them.

“The expression that’s been highlighted in the past by artists like Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def — you know, Black Star — the whole movement has a strong message that can resonate with anyone,” Olney says. “With all the fucked up shit happening right now, it’s important to be aware of what’s around you and see how you can help that.” It’s also just satisfying music: “You can’t deny the beats and shit that came out of that,” Olney adds.

For all their self-assuredness, the band is still a little green, as can be seen during the rap songs at their Dada performance. Their movements onstage are a bit awkward and stilted. They look like puppets. Yet Lewis is truly into it, red in the face as he screams the lyrics without a microphone and waves his hands in the air. He’s the perfect hype-man, garnering enthusiasm from his young peers in the audience. Barnes wraps his arm around Olney with a smile, and you can’t help but be hypnotized by their earnestness.

As great as the rap stuff sounds, Herrick & Hooley shine brightest when they perform their smorgasbord take on jazz, soul and R&B. Olney’s vocals have just the right amount of rasp and his work on the keyboard makes the music as warm as a fresh cup of steaming green tea. On the drums, Lewis is so skilled and confident that if the totalitarian drum instructor from the film Whiplash scolded him about his tempo, he’d probably reply, “Screw you man, this is my tempo,” and keep it moving. Barnes provides the integral deep notes that give the music its groove. It’s all as sweet as honey.

More and likely bigger challenges lie ahead for Herrick & Hooley. Now that they’ve all graduated from high school, they’ll be heading to college soon -— two of them in Colorado and one in New Mexico, because they want to travel and get out of Texas for a while. Heading to different schools at a time like this seems tricky, but they plan on keeping the music going by recording some remotely and getting together for shows whenever they can.

Plus, they’ve already overcome plenty of challenges, starting with their very first show.

For that show they traveled 40 miles to Grand Prairie. They recall spotting a rundown building and joking it was a musty dump, only to discover they were playing an even mustier, more rundown bar. “There [were] 20 bikers standing outside smoking with their bikes and we’re just these white kids,” Barnes says. The bar was a haven for country, blues and rock, but mostly country. Barnes was so nervous that he doesn’t even remember playing, but they did their set and earned the love of the room.

One of the large, hulking bikers grabbed Olney’s shoulders and confessed, “I wasn’t ready for that shit man, that tripped me out.” What a frightening but eye-opening experience. “The walls of genre are broken when music is good,” Barnes says. And once they’re broken, something as small as a cold can’t hold you back. - Dallas Observer

"The Source Magazine Feature"

Herrick & Hooley drop their laid back single “Beach”. An ode to love, the Dallas trio express their unadulterated passion for their beaus. A delightful blend of soulful r&b and hip-hop and ambient drum-led production, “Beach” is enchanting enough to woo the ladies with blunt lyricism way too real not to appeal to everybody. We all know that whimsical feeling of falling for somebody for the first time and this song sums it all up perfectly.

The track’s reggae-infused hook is the catchiest of the summer so far. You will be singing this to yourself for a while after listening. We are excited about these guys. Stream now below.”Beach” is available to download for free. - Source Magazine

"Rude Boy Magazine Feature"

Herrick & Hooley is a jazz group based out of Dallas that formed almost 2 years ago. Hunter Lewis, Ian Olney, and Michael Barnes have been playing music together since junior high but in February of 2014 Hunter and Ian released the first official Herrick & Hooley release, “Late Nights.” The album was an experimental-electronic concept album that led to an EP later that year called “Aphelion.” What Herrick & Hooley is most known for are their jazz covers on YouTube. During 2014, they covered many popular hip hop songs from artists like Tyler, the Creator, Chance the Rapper, and Childish Gambino.

In late spring of 2015 Herrick & Hooley is going to release their second LP titled “Herrick & Hooley’s Famous Honey.” This new album will mix past sounds of electronic jazz with heavy R&B influences. There have been talks of the new album being released on both CD and vinyl. - Rude Boy Magazine

"9 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week"

Dallas jazz outfit Herrick & Hooley caught The Internet's attention with some well-timed Odd Future covers, and the release of their new album Herrick & Hooley's Famous Honey. Cosigns aside, props are due: the chops are sweet and the drummer's tight. "Myah Myah" is a bright centerpiece, with an infectious piano roll and palpable optimism. To craft jazz this earnest, you've got to believe in something. — Matthew Trammell - The Fader

"Dallas Observer "Texoma" release article"

“It’s such a focused album on both falling in love and the struggles of loneliness and dealing with the love we just created,” Lewis says.

Appropriately enough, it's the title track, “Texoma,” that embodies this sentiment most profoundly. The four-minute song features four verses that show off Olney’s smooth voice and dexterity as both a crooner and a tongue-twisting rapper. Lewis’ production is emotive, smooth and affecting. The band says the song is their thesis statement, and it mirrors the arc of the rest of the album. It's approachable highbrow music.

“It’s got real weight to it. Living our lives and being around, I can hear it in the album,” Barnes says, his one-time fear of growing apart from his band mates now firmly countered by the arrival of Texoma and, with it, a trip to South by Southwest this week. “Its weight comes from its application to life.” - Dallas Observer

"Teen Vogue article on collab Ep with Mallory Merk, "MM & HH""

Working on my album was such an amazing experience. I didn't have friends for a couple of months. The process was quick, and it felt like the blink of an eye. I remember when me and Herrick & Hooley decided to make the album, it was just a group chat like, "Let's make something beautiful." And we did. I met my engineer Drew Oliver outside of the MoMA Lil Yachty show, and we hit it off, and I started recording at Blast Off, where I finished the project. There were tears at the studio when I felt like I couldn't keep it together, and I felt like I couldn't do it. There were fights about how we were going to mix it and master it. There were also late nights and lots of ordering Thai food. We did it, though. I released the album after coming home from Frank Ocean’s pop-up, and me and Herrick & Hooley were sitting on my air mattress bed in Brooklyn reading through Boys Don't Cry. I was so inspired. We released it at 1:11 a.m., and it was such a beautiful moment. There were like seven of us in my bedroom. I felt like we made home-cooked history. - Teen Vogue


Late Nights (2014)
Aphelion (2014)
Herrick & Hooley's Famous Honey (2015)
Texoma (2016)



We are a hip-hop, r&b, and jazz trio from Dallas, Texas. We have tons of show experience under our belts, and a nationwide fan base. We can play anything from a small jazzy set, to a full on festival stage. 

Band Members