Archive for the The Honey Dewdrops Category

ReviewShine Wednesday: The Honey Dewdrops & Emma Hill

Posted in Emma Hill, The Honey Dewdrops on September 15, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Every Wednesday, I feature a brief review of at least one album that has been submitted to me through the ReviewShine website. I have cleverly titled this recurring segment “ReviewShine Wednesday.”

Today marks a first for the ReviewShine Wednesday feature. This is the first time an artist has appeared for a second time in this space. I first featured The Honey Dewdrops back in March for their 2009 album If the Sun Will Shine. At that time, I compared the husband and wife duo to Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings.

Now Kagey Parrish and Laura Wortman are back with their new release These Old Roots. True to the album’s title, The Dewdrops once again find a sound that is heavily rooted in American folk and traditional Appalachian music with a modern ear for singer/songwriter melodies and harmonies. Nine of the ten songs in this collection are originals. The only exception is “Can’t Get a Letter from Home,” a traditional tune from the Appalachian foothills of Magoffin County, Kentucky (You might remember that song from Brett Ratliff’s 2008 CD Cold Icy Mountain under the title “Darlin’ Don’t You Know That’s Wrong”).
The Honey Dewdrops will play the WDVX Blue Plate Special September 21 at noon (Eastern).
The Honey Dewdrops: Amaranth (Buy Album)

We also have a bonus, second artist today in the form of Alaskan singer/songwriter Emma Hill. Hill’s sophomore offering Clumsy Seduction is a fine collection of laid back folk ballads that would make a perfect companion during those long, cold, Alaskan nights. Hill’s voice is just as soothing as her songs and blends as nicely with the cello on the title track as it does with the banjo and steel guitar on the more up-tempo “One Glass too Many.” NPR listeners may also recognize Hill’s name. She was recently featured in a Morning Edition story due to the unique nature of her current tour. Hill and her band bought, “All-You-Can-Fly” passes from JetBlue and are using them to fly to 22 shows in 13 states in 30 days.

Emma Hill: One Glass too Many (Buy Album)

ReviewShine Wednesday: The Steel Wheels & The Honey Dewdrops

Posted in The Honey Dewdrops, The Steel Wheels on March 10, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

First off, I want to apologize for the lack of posts over this past week. I’ve had a touch of something nasty since Thursday (still do really) and haven’t really felt much like writing. I think I’m coming out of it, though. Hopefully things will get back to normal here soon.

Starting today with this week’s installment of ReviewShine Wednesday. Today, we’ll look at two acts with their feet firmly planted in traditional music.

First up are The Steel Wheels from Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Steel Wheels are a four piece band consisting of Brian Dickel on the upright bass, Eric Brubaker on the fiddle, Jay Lapp on guitars and mandolins, and Trent Wagler on guitars and banjos. As the primary songwriter and vocalist, Wagler also serves as the primary creative voice for the group. With that voice he brings a genuine love and respect for the traditions the band’s music is built around. Wagler was born to a musical family in Bean Blossom, Indiana (home to the famous music festival) and he began performing with his family’s band at the age of four.

On their new album, Red Wing, Wagler and the Wheels breeze through 14 tracks that honor the traditional sounds of a bygone time while still making the music fresh. That’s the case with the title track I’m sharing here. “Redwing” is traditionally played as an upbeat reel, but Wagler has reimagined it as a more down-tempo number with new original lyrics. The band is joined here by folk royalty Robin & Linda Williams.

The Steel Wheels: Redwing (Buy Album)

Up next is another Virginia act… The Honey Dewdrops. The Dewdrops are Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish, a husband and wife duo from Scottsville, VA who have recently released their debut album If the Sun Will Shine. The album is composed of eleven tradition rich original songs that rely heavily on Laura and Kagey’s intuitive harmonies and an acoustic sound deeply rooted in the musical traditions of the American South. In fact, upon listening to the opening refrain of the lead off track “Bluest Blue Eyes,” it wouldn’t be hard to mistake this album for the newest release from Gillian Welch and Dave Rawings.

The Honey Dewdrops are still relatively new to the scene, but they have already received several accolades. Regular NPR listeners may know them as the winners of A Prairie Home Companion’s 2008 “People in their Twenties Talent Show” and finalists in the Mountain Stage NewSong competition in 2009. Here’s one from the new album.
The Honey Dewdrops: Bluest Blue Eyes (Buy Album)