Head Honchos’ Keeping The Storied Chicago Blues Sound Alive And Well

Written by on February 23, 2012 in February 23, 2012, Interviews - Comments Off on Head Honchos’ Keeping The Storied Chicago Blues Sound Alive And Well

WHO ARE THESE GUYS? Original and soul-pounding Blues at its best. I have seldom heard a Blues-Rock band with so much power! This is hard rockin’ blues at its best…I’ve been waiting for this…it’s like getting kicked in the gut and saying thanks…really powerful backup and spin-tingling, terrifying, aggressive guitar playing is the new deal here. I am not going to compare this CD with anybody’s CD. You just have to hear it.This is ground-breaking Blues.


Wow! From the opening track, “Goin’ Down,” this disc had our attention! From there however, things only got better, the next song, “Lucky’s Train,” had us grooving and enjoying the juicy guitar riffs and righteous vocals – and surprise – it’s an original. There are no disappointments on this CD. Every track sparkles with electricity, great guitar, stellar engineering and production, and wonderful vocals. In short, it’s a homerun…out of the park!


Head HonchosHead Honchos’ play smokin’ Chicago blues imbued with elements of rock. The band is also a father/son affair – formed by guitarist Rocco Calipari Sr. (who is also a member of noted longtime Chicago band, Howard and the White Boys) and his son, Rocco Calipari Jr.

In just under two years together as a working band, Head Honchos’ have garnered positive reviews for their self-titled debut release in publications both far (Blues Matters and Metalliville in the U.K.) and near (Blues Source; Vintage Guitar; Chicago Examiner; Bluesrockers; Barrelhouse Blues; Southland Blues; American Blues Blog; more).  The band are about to record the follow-up to their debut, tentatively titled “Come Strong.”  All Access Magazine (AAM) recently interviewed Head Honchos’ father-son guitarists, Rocco Calipari Sr. (RC) and Rocco Calipari Jr. (RCJ). Here’s how it went.


AAM: Who are the Head Honchos’?

RC: A Rock Blues Funk & Soul Band From Northwest Indiana Featuring Rocco Calipari and Rocco Calipari Jr.

RCJ: Rocco Calipari Sr: guitar/vocals Rocco Calipari Jr: guitar  Roberto Agotos: bass Scott Schultz: Drums/ back up vocals

AAM: The band is based in Indiana, but you play Chicago-style Blues. Do you consider Head Honchos’ to be a “Midwestern” group?

RC: Yes we do. Being so close to Chicago we are very influenced by the music old and new.

RCJ: Yes, I was raised in this area and I was fortunate to see many Chicago blues acts

Head HonchosAAM: When did you actually form the band?

RC: About five years ago.

RCJ: When Iwas 19.

AAM: According to your press materials, Head Honchos’ share the same guitarist, Rocco Calipari Sr., as the well-known Howard and the White Boys. That’s interesting – can you elaborate on this?

RC : Well I’m still with HWB. I love playing in both bands, I formed Head Honchos’ so Rocco Jr.and I could start playing professionaly together.

AAM: Best gig you’ve played so far in your two-plus years together? Worst gig?

RC: Best: Merle Jam in Kansas City— Worst: We really haven’t had a bad gig.

RCJ: Agreed. Merle Jam in Kansas City. No bad gigs so far!

AAM: Who do you count as some of the band’s main musical influences?

RC: Buddy Guy, B.B King, ZZ Top, The Meters, Jimi Hendrix, many more.

RCJ: Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top.

AAM: Rocco Sr., this one is for you – what  do you see as some of the similarities and differences in playing with Howard and the White Boys, as opposed to Head Honchos’?

RC: Similar with some of the Blues we play and both bands have two lead Guitarists. Head Honchos’ has more of a Rock edge and Rocco Jr. and I work out more harmony guitar parts together.

AAM: Head Honchos’ recently completed their first tour, albeit only a few dates. Are there plans in the works to do more of that?

RC: Yes, we plan on touring alot.

RCJ: Yes, I hope we’re on the road as much as possible.

AAM: Rocco Jr., this question is for you – how did your experience of attending Musicians Institute in Hollywood help you in terms of your career and your guitar playing ability as it exists today?

RCJ: I really enjoyed the school. I was fortunate to have some great teachers that really taught me the discipline of practicing.

AAM: Where do you both see Head Honchos’ in, say, five years or so from now?

RC: I hope to see us still playing, recording and growing our fan base.

RCJ: Still going strong and playing a lot more shows.

For more information on the band Head Honcchos’ log onto www.headhonchosband.com.