Sunfest 33: The Hip Abduction

Pat Klemawesch of The Hip Abduction
Multi-instrumentalist Pat Klemawesch, pictured here during The Hip Abduction’s Sunfest set

This Tampa-Bay reggae/rock/Afro-pop band made its way back to Palm Beach for its third area gig in a month, but needless to say, its Sunfest performance was to a much larger crowd than the previous two. As a female announcer gave a spoken-word intro in a polished British accent, the group took the stage, kicking their set off with “Brother Charlie” and following it up with the song “Live It Right” from its 2013 self-titled CD. Other tracks from The Hip Abduction album included “Holiday” and “Children of the Sun.”

Lead vocals for the band are mostly shared between guitarist David New and multi-instrumentalist Pat Klemawesch, who plays guitar, Latin-style percussion and a home-made 21-string West African lute-bridge harp known as a kora.

Guitarist David New, with drummer Matt Poynter
Guitarist David New, with drummer Matt Poynter in the background


The other musicians in the group are Dave Johnson, who plays both baritone and tenor sax, keyboardist Paul Chlapowski, Matt Poynter on drums, and Chris Powers on bass. For the Sunfest performance, the band’s lineup also included a conga player.

Hip Abduction Sax player Dave Johnson
Sax player Dave Johnson
Keyboardist Paul Chlapowski
Keyboardist Paul Chlapowski
Hip Abduction Drummer Matt Poynter
Drummer Matt Poynter
Hip Abduction Bassist Chris Powers
Bassist Chris Powers [Photo by Empress K of Reggae Reflection]
Conga player with Hip Abduction
Conga player

The Hip Abduction’s Sunfest set seemed more reggae-oriented than its performance at the recent Peace, Love and Wellness festival, even including a cover of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved”. With any luck, Palm Beach County will continue to be a frequent stop on the band’s itinerary.


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