Hobex: like "a hobo on a ham sandwich’ | VailDaily.com

Hobex: like "a hobo on a ham sandwich’

Aggie Zaremba

Hobex’s funk and soul grooves will mark the floor of Half Moon Saloon tonight at 10.

Humpreys was infected with music by his father, “an unfulfilled guitar player,” as Humpreys describes him.

“My father was a fan of music,” he said. “He had a big record collection, and he always recognized really great songs.”

Childhood infatuation with tunes soon gave rise to Humpreys’ first band, Dillon Fence. Initially, this pop group was just a “weekend thing” he’d started with his college friends, Kent Alpin and Chris Goode. In time, it became a popular Southeast club acts.

In 1996, Humpreys decided to shed his pop skin. Along with bass player Andy Ware and drummer Steve Hill, he founded Hobex.

“I loved being in Dillon Fence, but I got burned out on that kind of Beatles-y two guitars and three-part harmonies approach after doing it for so many years,” he said. “Instead of writing the same stuff over and over, I needed to try something fresh – follow the direction my songwriting was taking me. Funk and soul was the direction I needed to go. I wanted to move people, make them dance, and have a good time.”

The main influences behind the Hobex sound are musicians like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield and James Brown.

“They never lost sight of music’s ability to just plain make folks feel good,” Humpreys said. “Also, as they grew musically they used their knowledge to transcendent boundaries and make people think about the world around them.”

Thus, the folks in Hobex always do it “hobex style,” meaning they enjoy the moment like “a hobo on a ham sandwich,” and entertains audiences with blue-eyed funk and soul sounds.

So far the band has released four albums: its debut CD “The Payback EP,” “Back in the ’90s,” which in November 1999 was picked as the “album of the week” by the New York Times and received national airplay, “Wisteria” and the newest one “U Ready Man?”

Hobex play tonight at Half Moon Saloon in West Vail. The floor will start to shake at 10. They’re offering a “what do you wnat to hear?” music survey. Participants get a drinkable treat.

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