THE HONEY DEWDROPS | TANGLED COUNTRY EPK
"Gorgeous harmonies, thrilling arrangements, and some remarkably insightful, honest writing. "
- SING OUT! MAGAZINE
"Handcrafted sound centered on swarming harmonies and acoustic guitars that churn like a paddlewheel and shimmer like heat waves on the highway."
- ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE
"Just one of the highlights from the outstanding Tangled Country, a collection of often sad but still hopeful songs, 'Same Old' mines some of the territory of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, with lilting banjo, gorgeous harmonies and tasteful pedal steel, and exemplifies this duo's simple yet beautiful music."
— FREDDY JENKINS, FOR NPR MUSIC'S FAVORITE SONGS OF 2015
In the summer of 2014, after a long stretch of living on the road, performing and writing across the U.S., Americana songwriters and Virginia natives Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish, collectively known as THE HONEY DEWDROPS, decided to settle down in Baltimore, MD. "Touring is like collecting images of landscapes, sounds of voices, contents of stories, moods of places and environments," says Wortman. "All of that can be useful. It tells you something about human nature, about how the world works, little by little.” And so the couple took their experiences on the road, and dug in to write and record their fourth album, TANGLED COUNTRY, in their new home. It’s a beautiful and engaging take on modern American roots music and the first album of theirs entirely written, arranged, and recorded in one place; a testament to the power of home.
Excellently produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Nicholas Sjostrom, who also joins The Honey Dewdrops on bass, piano, and Wurlitzer, the songs, all original compositions by Wortman & Parrish, tell stories that engage and resonate in a delicately creative way, blurring the line between narrative and prose. Wortman tells a story about a machine shop across the street from their house when they first moved to Baltimore. "Constant noise from power tools and what sounded like metal hammers banging out the shapes of giant steel swords, and with the regular hum of the city and traffic moving up and down the street, this took some getting used to." But then they noticed the times, sometimes lasting only seconds, sometimes hours, "where everything came to a stop, slowed down, quieted, like everything was paused." This became the basis for Tangled Country's closing tune and only instrumental track, "Remington," as they tried to capture the feeling of "playing tunes together on the porch in those hushed moments in between” when the world seemed to have come to rest.
The closeness of sound and the musical compatibility that The Honey Dewdrops possess is unmistakeable. On Tangled Country, each share vocals and guitars, augmented by Parrish’s mandolin and Wortman’s work on banjo and harmonica. "I think it comes from spending a lot of time together and knowing the inner workings of each other creatively," says Wortman. And while comparisons to the music of Gillian Welch & David Rawlings are inevitable here, that’s because there's something to this marriage of matrimony and music. Wortman and Parrish's musical chemistry is so vivid here in recorded form that it's not surprising to learn that their live performances are often described as "mesmerizing," "evocative," and “genuine." The culmination of three years of writing and arranging, Tangled Country captures and communicates this as the duo weave dynamics and harmonies from one track to another, proving that The Honey Dewdrops bear the mark of musical maturity – in performance, arrangement, and songwriting.
Throughout Tangled Country, Wortman and Parrish perform as if the most honorable thing to be is honest in themselves. In the song "Guitars," Wortman's voice considers the long lineage of songwriters and stewards of the American roots tradition: "We are born unto our own, sapling seeds from old growth...many hands and many years gone...everyone with a song to teach, some sing pain, some sing peace." But through this long convergence of tradition and history, the chorus makes clear the binding factor: "Sing we all true songs / We sing them right, we sing them wrong / Tuned up tightly and passed along / Like old guitars, we breathe songs." Tangled Country bears witness to The Honey Dewdrops' simply being themselves, stewards of the Americana tradition, having seen the world and grown a little older and now finally come home.
LISTEN/DOWNLOAD THE FIRST TRACK FROM
TANGLED COUNTRY- Released 5.8.15
- 30A Songwriters Festival- Santa Rosa Beach, FL
- Big Horn Mtn Music Festival- Buffalo, WY
- Bluegrass Jamboree 2016- Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands
- Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion- Bristol, TN/VA
- Carolina in the Fall- Wilkesboro, NC
- Champaign-Urbana Folk Festival- Urbana, IL
- Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival- Baltimore, MD
- Fayetteville Roots Festival- Fayetteville, AR
- Fiddles, Vittles & Vino Festival- Colorado Springs, CO
- FloydFest- Floyd, VA
- Frankfort Bluegrass Festival- Frankfort, IL
- High Mtn Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival- Westcliffe, CO
- MerleFest- Wilkesboro, NC
- Oak Grove Folk Music Festival- Verona, VA
- Porcupine Mtns Music Festival- Ontonagon, MI
- Red Wing Roots Music Festival- Mt Solon, VA
- Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival- Pittsboro, NC
- Strawberry Park Bluegrass Festival- Preston, CT
- Watermelon Park Fest- Berryville, VA
- Woody Fest- Okemah, OK
- Arboretum of Flagstaff in conjunction with the Coconino Center for the Arts- Flagstaff, AZ
- Caffe Lena- Saratoga Springs, NY
- City Winery- Chicago, IL
- Club Passim- Cambridge, MA
- Creative Alliance- Baltimore, MD
- Culture Center Theater as part of the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest- Charleston, WV
- Eddie's Attic- Decatur, GA
- Evening Muse- Charlotte, NC
- Fletcher County Opera House- Raleigh, NC
- Freight and Salvage- Berkeley, CA
- Gypsy Sally's- Washington, DC
- Harvester Performing Arts Center- Rocky Mount, VA
- High Noon Saloon- Madison, WI
- Jefferson Theater- Charlottesville, VA
- Official Showcase Artists at the International Folk Alliance Conference- Kansas City, MO
- Official Showcase Artists at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals- Ottawa, ON, CAN
- Official Showcase Artists at the International Bluegrass Music Association Conference- Raleigh, NC
- One Longfellow Square- Portland, ME
- Stone Mountain Arts Center- Brownfield, ME
- The Birchmere- Alexandria, VA
- The Fitzgerald Theatre on A Prairie Home Companion- St Paul, MN
- The Grey Eagle- Asheville, NC
- The Living Room- NYC
- The Southern Cafe and Music Hall- Charlottesville, VA
THE HONEY DEWDROPS have shared the stage with many Folk and Americana greats such as Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Chatham County Line, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Loudon Wainwright III, Sierra Hull, Shawn Mullins, The Gibson Brothers, Matt Flinner Trio, Mary Gauthier, Mandolin Orange, Kathy Mattea, Anais Mitchell, The SteelDrivers.