Secret Monkey Weekend – All the Time in the World
Full disclosure: I play keyboards on All the Time in the World, and I have known the
principals in this story since I moved back to North Carolina in 2006. If that disqualifies me,
so be it. Read this anyway. – Peter Holsapple
There are bands that start up, which are most of them. Friends from school, in a garage, in
every city on the globe.
Then there are bands that grow from beyond the realm of music–a job or maybe a family.
Or maybe, as in the case of Secret Monkey Weekend, it’s a combination of the two, and
the band’s organic development into unique recording artists is evident on their debut album
All the Time in the World, released on Secret Monkey Records, March 18, 2022 and
produced by Don Dixon (producer of R.E.M., Smithereens, etc.).
Ella Brown Hart, Jefferson Hart and Lila Brown Hart are Secret Monkey Weekend.
Jeff’s guitar and songwriting skill made starting a group with his adopted daughters Ella
and Lila Brown a natural—he’s been a driving force in Americana music in North Carolina
since the 1980s. When he married Laura in 2015, he also began giving her two young
daughters instrument lessons, giving rise to a brand-new rock band, Secret Monkey
Weekend. Lila follows in her late father Matt Brown’s path on drums and vocals, and Ella
holds down the electric bass as her rhythm section partner.
Live, they cut a confident profile, locked together musically like a jigsaw puzzle. They’ve
played every gig they can, from school carnivals in North Carolina to pubs in England.
Along the way, they’ve written some very cool tunes.
Secret Monkey Weekend songs are smart, simple and summery, with great grooves like
“Honey Num” that feel cozy and familiar, or maybe a tune like “Maybelle” that moves your
feet before you know it.
Guests like Jeffrey Dean Foster on guitar, Paul Messinger on harmonica and Tim Smith
on Hammond and piano join in, but the star turns are by Lila, Ella and Jeff to be sure.
Make no mistake: this is a BAND record. In seven years together, SMW’s focus has been to
become ready to record an album, and so they’ve become tight, intense and proficient, and
have created All the Time in the World, the solid and sterling debut album by Secret
— Peter Holsapple (The dB’s, Continental Drifters)
Durham NC, November 2021