- May 29, 2012
- Linda Fahey
- Hear It First
by Kim Ruehl, for FolkAlley.com
Following the well-laid tracks of contemporary Appalachian revivalists like Carolina Chocolate Drops and the late, great everybodyfields, The Honey Dewdrops emerge June 1 with a gem of a record titled Silver Lining.
The disc perfectly captures the spirit of the Blue Ridge foothills, feeling like a collection of tunes delivered late at night on someoneÂ’s front porch. Through just two voices, a guitar, and a banjo, Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish let go some beautiful and heartsick harmonies as they sing about working people's problems on songs like "Hills of My Home" (with lines like, "How long can this crop sustain us? In the end, where will we have to turn?") and love songs like the title track.
For the past four years, while promoting their previous two albums These Old Roots and If the Sun Will Shine, the DewdropsÂ’ dedication to steady touring has placed them in the company of folk music staples like A Prairie Home Companion and beloved bands like the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
No doubt inspired and influenced by all those experiences, Silver Lining explores life's little surprising complexities, nodding firmly now and then at folk music tradition (they, like the Wailin' Jennys and Abigail Washburn last year, cover "Bright Morning Stars" this time around). Nonetheless, aside from that one traditional diversion, Silver Lining is otherwise packed with their own originals, written to fit within a traditional culture and aesthetic.
In addition to the richly nuanced lyricism, the Dewdrops deliver two instrumentals ("Catawba" and "Somerset") one a jig, the other a slower ballad. Both dance on their own and feel like something you might overhear in the distance, across the hills. Both also showcase a pair of young pickers who appreciate the teasing musicality of restraint, but still know when to unleash their skills in a way which moves the song forward.
Fans of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings will certainly appreciate this album, while those who knew and loved the Dewdrops first offerings are likely to see this as a deepening and sharpening of their craft.
* CLICK HERE to receive a free MP3 of the featured track, "No More Trouble." *