Henri Wong of the Poisonville Songs Project has been working at a North Tampa Holiday Inn since April of this year. His hotel in St. Petersburg was hosting his intimate DIY gigs, but they crossed the bridge to Tampa because he swapped his Comfort Inn badge for a Holiday Inn.
Wong tells Creative Loafing that gigs in St. Petersburg are still an option due to his relationship with his former hotel, but most of his future shows will be at Tampa’s Holiday Inn at 3751 E Fowler Ave.
After taking a year-long hiatus from hosting DIY gigs, Wong is ready to dive back into performing. The Hummingbirds — who hail from Detroit but now reside in Tampa Bay — kick off the series on Friday, August 5.
The free show starts at 7:00 p.m., as snacks, beer and wine can be purchased at the hotel cafe.
The country-inspired American band that claims a motto of “southern charm, Detroit grit” has played several shows for Poisonville Songs Project in previous years. The husband and wife duo specialize in rhythmic, harmonic melodies, which will ring throughout the halls of the Holiday Inn next month.
“I think this is the fourth time the Hummingbirds have played for us. They are always the first group whenever we move to a new hotel,” Wong told Creative Loafing.
Although the duo haven’t released an album since “13 Days” in 2013, the Hummingbirds have toured extensively since then, bringing their soulful twang to every corner of Tampa Bay and beyond.
The genre is no deterrent to Wong, who has hosted bluegrass bands, metal bands, rappers and everyone in between at the Poisonville Songs Project. He started the DIY project in 2015, inspired by NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series.
Quieter acts play in the hotel lobby, while the loudest musicians perform outside in the carport area.
“People see us in two different ways. Some people think we’re really cool and some people think it’s a little cheesy. People think of hotel music and they automatically assume cover bands. We wanted to break that stereotype,” Wong told CL in fall 2019.
For the latest updates on upcoming Poisonville concerts, head over to his Facebook page at @pvillesongs. All of Wong’s shows are free, but donations to artists are always welcome.