“I don’t think they mean to be so degrading,” Little Hurricane’s drummer C.C. says over a beer at the Live Wire, “but I went to buy cymbal polish, and the guy said, ‘Well, what kind of cymbals does he have?’...
“I don’t want to be just a girl drummer,” she continues. “I want to be one of the best girl drummers.... I don’t want to be Meg.”
The White Stripes comparison is common for the boy-girl blues-rock duo. Last August, Chicago-born C.C. got back on drums after eight years away from a set and put an ad on craigslist looking for like-minded musicians. Santa Cruz native Tone caught her attention when he mentioned his jazz-band days in high school.
“I’ve been writing songs for years, looking for drummers,” North Parker Tone says. “I think it’s unique to have a girl drummer.”
“The previous bands I’ve been in were more rock, more produced,” says Tone, who makes custom guitar slides from wine- and whiskey-bottle necks. “Between songs I would play the blues, just jam, and then I’d have to go back to working on the songs. When I met [C.C.], she said she wanted to do a jazz-and-blues thing, and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll play that, that’d actually be really great.’... The vocals aren’t tuned, not everything is on time, it’s raw, but there’s something very fun about it.”
Tone works as a sound engineer at Carlsbad’s Le Mobile studio and has tuned and recorded acts such as Gwen Stefani, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Metallica.
“Lately we’ve been trying to tap into the saddest things possible...loneliness and age...lies...home-wreckers,” he says regarding lyrics. “I love the old blues, but I think there’re things we can bring into it that hopefully progresses the genre into the future.”
The duo cites influences from old skiffle to the Dead Weather, Black Keys, Bob Dylan, and B.B. King.
They plan to embark on a “slow tour” of the U.S. in October for a least a year.
“Instead of playing in a town and packing up the next morning, we want to stay in towns, meet people, get to know the culture,” Tone says. “In Seattle there’s something different going on than Baton Rouge. We want to learn from people and take our music different places.”
Get blown away by Little Hurricane July 13 at House of Blues.