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Konrad "Pres" Smith
(+48) 660 727 084

Marek Tymkoff
(+48) 501 097 805

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Hoodoohat got its start more than five years ago when Preston "Konrad" Smith culled a few talented expats from the Warsaw club scene to form The Bone Box. Before the Bone Box Smith had sung here and there in Texas, in the Czech Republic with blues monster David Murphy, as well as in Eastern Poland and in Warsaw with "The Ball," a bar band with a Texas-toned guitar player named Krysztof "Bazyl" Deptula.

By 2002, Smith had begun putting together his own sound. Although The Bone Box grew, shrank and evolved, it gradually became a completely different band than Smith had envisioned - even though it was a pretty damn cool band nonetheless.

And it looked like this:

By this time the band consisted of eleven musicians, including two Turks, one of whom was a jazz piano phenom, Uraz K. (who later set off to play with jazz greats around the world). Uraz's father, Yavuz K., handled bass and was joined by jazz drummer Pete S., alto saxophonist Aidan H. and later two Poles, Piotr Ruranski on tenor sax and Marek "the Unknown Giant" Tymkoff on lead guitar. At this time Smith and Tymkoff traded vocal duties, with Smith pounding on a beat-up Guild acoustic and shouting out lyrics to the accompaniment of the Skellettettes, the band's celebrated backup singers, Asia, Hania, Ania and Beata.

Needless to say, this was a strange band. At times the band called itself The Bone Sale. At times, it called itself The Bone Box. The band's concerts were more than a bit eclectic, with the music ranging from Grateful Dead covers to Stevie Wonder to Lou Reed to Bruce Springsteen to Herbie Hancock.

In short, the band was no less than bizarre. How or why the management of a local club/restaurant, the Tortilla Factory, decided to book the band is still a mystery, but two of the owners, Andrew E. and The Solli are still arguably the guys that gave Hoodoohat its start.

The Solli looks like this:

Andrew looks like this:

Bill looks like this:

The Tortilla Factory looks like this:

For a time, the nine- to 11-piece Bone Box had a bit of a following, but the band gradually dissolved. Some members chose the jazz route. The girls chose to sing gospel music while Smith, Tymkoff and "Rurek" the sax player jammed from time to time with Marek's band "For Sale", which continues to tear it up across Poland with a combination of blues and Gov't Mule inspired set lists, boosted by Tymkoff's notorious guitar work.

Yet times were hard. Smith and Tymkoff formed an interim band, The Bone Sale, which played parties and clubs in Warsaw with cover set lists varying from the Blues Brothers to Albert Collins to the Allman Brothers to Robert Cray before morphing into yet another version of The Bone Box, the true forerunner of Hoodoohat.

The Bone Box included Darek the Drummer:


Marek Tymkoff:




Kornel Poplawski, a killer bass player, who is a mainstay in the For Sale Band:







Piotr "Ruranski" Rurek on sax:





Eventually, Kornel left the band to concentrate on other musical endeavors, but he was followed by yet another killer bass player (Polish bass players are something else), Michal Przybyla, who looks like this:


And Preston Smith:

  By now it was early 2005. The Bone Box played bars, parties, clubs, and in the meantime the band was kind of adopted by not only The Tortilla Factory, but also a new bar in town, Bar Below, which looks like this:

In fact, Bar Below gigs, such as Halloween 2005, were simply great gigs. And they looked like this:

Unfortunately, Smith's work as a journalists began to interfere with the band, the music and his life in general. In 2002 he had helped found Poland Monthly, a news, current-affairs and politics magazine, and at this magazine he had broken a number of national news stories, often pushing the investigative envelope in cooperation with Poland 's top newspaper, Rzeczpospolita, and top TV news station, TVN. (Check it out here: www.polandmonthly.pl)

In the meantime he was writing for other magazines, and soon he began a long-running cooperation with Australia's The Bulletin magazine, part of the Newsweek group.

Some of these stories included finding where millions of dollars went after the money was stolen from Poland's state-owned insurance agency, PZU; finding a fugitive from Australia that had split with 1.5 bln Aussie dollars (yes, that's billion), only to invest the money in Polish real estate; breaking a story about the mob kidnapping foreigners for ransom, torturing them, killing them, etc., as well as covering and speaking at conferences on topics ranging from the international slave trade to the European energy/Russian gas crisis to the ins and outs of Polish real estate.

Investigative journalism has its upside. Smith was recently nominated for awards like the Australian Walkley Award - basically Down Under's version of the Pulitzer.

Check it out here:
http://www.walkleys.com/the-awards/walkley-awards-finalists/walkley-business-journalism-finalists-announced.html and read the stories here: http://bulletin.ninemsn.com.au /article.aspx?id=140097

However, it also has its down side. By 2005, Smith's apartment had been wrecked, had been attacked, gagged for a year by the judicial system, and as a result the Internationanl Federation of Journalists had spoken out in his defense.

Check it out here:

He had also become an official witness for two prosecutors and for the Parliamentary PZU Investigative Commission - and he had been questioned by police at the behest of several other prosecutors who had perhaps other intentions than those previously mentioned. In short, he was kind of tired and he looked like this:

By the way, Rzeczpospolita's top investigative journalist, Bertold Kittel, one of Smith's buddies, looks like this:
TVN's top investigative journalist, Jarek Jabrzyk, looks like this:

Smith left Poland Monthly in 2005 to take over as Polish desk chief and then later Editor-in-Chief for Interfax Central Europe, the news agency's CE operation, which covers Poland, the Czech Republic , Hungary and Slovakia. If you are interested in hard-core business news, hit www.interfax.pl


Okay, okay. Back to the band. So what happened? Did the Bone Box leap to world-wide fame? Stardom? Posh hotels, harems of strippers and private lear jets?


This was bad, althouh not unexpected. Actually, not that bad, but not that great either.

So Smith and Tymkoff changed direction again, bringing Kornel Poplawski back to trade bats with Michal Przybyla. Incidentally, about that time Smith visited a certain chiropractor in Warsaw, Longin Sliwecki, who suddenly fixed a shoulder and wrist problem that had bothered him for years. Part of this may have come from working on heavy bags/boxing, but between the chiropractor and Smith's studies of Tang Lang (Praying Mantis) Kung Fu and Sliwecki, Smith was suddenly playing freely, thinking freely and turning out Bone Music like never before.

By the way, if you are interested in Kung Fu, I highly recommend Praying Mantis, as taught by Shifu Slawomir Milczarek. You can find him here (part of the web site is available in English): www.tanglangmen.com




In the meantime, Smith and Tymkoff and the band started recording. Also, for a time Krzysztof "Bazyl" Deptula joined the band. Krzysztof is a heavy-hitting guitar player, who has since moved on, but dang could he solo.

Krysztof looks like this:

They also began tearing it up in live concerts. Some of which looked like this:

So here we are. Hoodoohat. We look like this, and if you want to book us, call Smith at (+48) 660 727 084. See you soon.

See photo gallery from Jimmy Bradley's birthday party on February 2


Webmaster AKA