Students bring back Honey Cellar to perform on campus
“A founder of Bits and Pieces, a Fulbright scholar, and a writer walk into a bar.”
Not a sentence looking for a punchline — it’s actually a true statement, and it illustrates the variety of paths three Beloit alums took to form the band Honey Cellar, a folk rock quartet based in Chicago.
By day, they are writer Lucy Holden’16, Fulbright scholar and healthcare professional Catherine Krol’17, and music teacher and Bits & Pieces founder Danny Connolly’17, and non-Beloit member Joey Buttlar. The band most recently played on campus at the 50th Anniversary of Folk ‘n Blues earlier this fall, and have toured the Midwest off and on since 2017. Danny is lead guitarist and vocalist; Lucy, violinist and second vocalist; and Catherine plays bass and also does vocals. Joey plays guitar.
Lucy and Danny knew each other first, and they added Catherine to their musical pursuits in 2017 when their previous band broke up. Joey joined them soon after, and they have been playing together as Honey Cellar ever since. Lucy is a freelance writer and editor at Lucy Holden Creative Services.
They chose the band’s name after their first photoshoot. It was in February, in Chicago. “Our original location didn’t work out and we couldn’t just go to a park because it was freezing. So we ended up in Lucy’s dad’s basement,” says Danny. “He’s a beekeeper, with custom contraptions for processing raw honey. We thought Honey Cellar sounded cool,” he says.
While at Beloit, Danny was heavily involved on the artistic side of campus life: Voodoo Barbie (now Kids Eat Free), the Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow cast, the North Atlantic Musical Ensemble (NAME), and was a founding member of Bits & Pieces, Beloit’s a cappella group. He also ran sound at C-Haus — a skill that often comes in handy when Honey Cellar is on tour.
Danny also studied abroad at the University of Sussex in the U.K. as part of his Beloit journey. While studying music technology, he was heavily involved in the folk music groups there. “Each student had to record and mix one song for the final project and I think I ended up singing in three or four different projects,” says Danny. “The campus also had several pubs and I spent a lot of time doing open mic nights.”
Catherine — the Fulbright Scholar — also was in NAME, and played monthly with Danny at C-Haus. She was also involved in the Symphonic Orchestra. “I was generally more preoccupied with charting my economics path at Beloit. By the time I finished college, I had three internships, one of which was at the Northpoint Wellness Clinic through the Duffy Program,” says Catherine. She also interned for Beloit Health Systems.
Her focus on her coursework earned her a Fulbright Scholarship. She spent several months after graduating in Indonesia, studying the different ways we perceive health and teaching English.
It wasn’t her first trip abroad. As a sophomore, she went to Ecuador, where she learned Spanish. Her Ecuadorian host father sold jewelry in an area heavily frequented by tourists, and the band continues to sell his wares at their shows.
She also studied abroad in Poland, where her parents are originally from. “So it felt like a homecoming,” she says. She took a marketing and a rock climbing course — all in Polish.
When not performing, Catherine works at a market research firm studying consumer trends in Mexico and Central America. Danny teaches vocals, guitar, and bass to kids and adults. Joey plays in another band called The Tomblands.
Honey Cellar is working on their second album and plan to go on tour next year after its release.