“Pimp Music, Not People” is the motto of the flamboyant and theatrical retro rock & blues band Dance Hall Pimps. Formed “just for kicks” in 2009 by vocalist/songwriter RJ Comer and guitarist Jeff Jourard (The Motels), the band became a favorite in the Los Angeles underground cabaret scene. Soon the band started playing mainstream clubs and built a strong local following with encore performances around LA and with frequent appearances at legendary Sunset Strip venues The Roxy, The Viper Room, and The Whiskey A-Go-Go. The band’s crowd-revving show made them a favorite Los Angeles opening act for national touring bands as diverse as The Fixx, the Rebirth Brass Band, and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.
Despite being a strictly local band, Lakeshore Records signed the Dance Hall Pimps. The band’s 2012 debut album, Beast for Love, was produced by Grammy Winner Matt Hyde (Porno for Pyros, Cypress Hill) and Rob Hill (Korn, Soul Assassins, Xzibit, Wu-Tang Clan, Cypress Hill, Queen, Jackson Browne). Beast for Love featured the eclectic range of sounds and horror novelty songs characteristic of the band’s underground cabaret repertoire. Beast for Love earned critical acclaim but without support from the label the band never broke out of the local scene.
The DHPs independently produced and released their second LP The Dead Don’t Walk. In their second LP, the band settled solidly into a retro rock & blues sound, stepping away from the horror novelty and cabaret eclecticism that characterized their first LP.
By 2014, however, RJ could tell that the band had run its course as a local phenom. The band gave its farewell live performance at The Mint, and the Dance Hall Pimps disappeared from the scene.
Ten years after founding the DHPs, RJ has decided to take a break from his solo career and reform the DHPs as a studio project. The DHPs will release two original songs in 2020.