Jacksonville blues rockers Honey Hounds open the final Jax River Jams show

Some bands need a dozen or more musicians on stage to create their sound. For Honey Hounds, three are enough.

“It’s just not fat,” said drummer Tyler Watts of his band, which opens for Sugar Ray on Thursday’s final Jax River Jams free show. “Everyone has to serve the song at the end of the day. That’s what I love about most of my favorite bands. When everyone plays what they’re supposed to play, it comes together in a nice groove.”

Honey Hounds is a classic blues rock power trio with Watts on drums, Nathan Ranew on bass and vocals and Nick Izzard on guitar and vocals. Watts and Izzard kicked around the Keys for a couple of years, playing as NW Izzard before meeting Ranew and moving to Jacksonville. They have been around since 2015 and have released two albums, “No Sleep” in 2016 and “The Flame” in 2019, which they will hopefully release on vinyl later this year. Another album is also in the works and could be released later this year.

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The band is a full time job for the three who are busy traveling the southeast. “We have been blessed to have the best fans in the world,” said Watts. “You are super supportive.”

He said the band is slowly building back the momentum they lost in the pandemic. They had just gotten off a national tour when the entire live music business was shut down for most of 2020. They played a festival for about 500 fans in Georgia last month, and Watts said he couldn’t wait for the crowd to return to the Honey Hounds shows.

Nathan Ranew, Tyler Watts and Nick Izzard are Honey Hounds.  They play at the last Jax River Jams concert on Thursday.

“We really hope we can get back to national tours by the end of the year,” said Watts. “We keep our fingers crossed for autumn.”

Watts said the band will hit the Sugar Ray crowd with a number of original songs and maybe a crowd to sing along to. “You can expect high energy,” he said. “We love what we do and it really shows on stage. We’re just excited to be back and put on a real show again.”

The Sugar Ray / Honey Hounds Show is the fourth and final concert in the Jax River Jams series. The shows took place on Thursday evening at Riverfront Plaza, the former location of The Jacksonville Landing. The fans mostly sat in socially distant places on the lawn. The venue is wide open for the shows. Fans can go in and out without restriction and set up a variety of food trucks and bars on site.

Jax River Jams

Sugar Ray and Honey Hounds

Thursday at 6 p.m. at Riverfront Plaza


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