The Honey Dewdrops, with their unique blend of folk and roots music, will appear in concert at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the REP Theater, 216 Quincy Circle in Santa Rosa Beach. Concert tickets are $25, and information is available through the REP Theater, lovetherep.com/the-honey-dewdrops/.
The Honey Dewdrops, are celebrating their ninth year of touring, having played stages and festivals far and wide in North America and Europe. With tight harmonies and a musical ensemble that includes clawhammer banjo, mandolin and guitars, the effect is to leave listeners with only what matters — the heart of the song and clarity over ornamentation.
Acoustic Guitar Magazine describes the set of songs as “a handcrafted sound centered on swarming harmonies and acoustic guitars that churn like a paddle wheel and shimmer like heat waves on the highway.” And like their stage performance, these songs rock and reel, and then they console you when you come back down.
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, Maryland.
“Touring is like collecting images of landscapes, sounds of voices, contents of stories, moods of places and environments,” Wortman said. “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 an 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.
Produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Nicholas Sjostrom, who also joins The Honey Dewdrops on bass, piano, and Wurlitzer, the songs are all original compositions by Wortman and Parrish. They 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,” she said.
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.