When you’re a wanderer, each infrequent stop is a precious one. Since The Honey Dewdrops’ first-place win on A Prairie Home Companion’s “People in their Twenties Talent Show” in 2008, the Scottsville duo—Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish—has been in nearly constant motion. Earlier this year, the ’Drops released an 11-song debut album, If the Sun Will Shine, with a June 18 gig at Is, then promptly set off for a 15-state tour through house concert venues, coffee shops and any spots that offered Wortman and Parrish organic, locally grown grub. Not that we mind sharing our local Honeys; we’d just like ’em in our town for a bit.
Honey, where you been? Scottsville duo The Honey Dewdrops returns for a pair of local gigs and a sweet new album, If the Sun Will Shine.
This weekend, however, the Dewdrops wander back for a pair of gigs—a free Friday night set at the Charlottesville Pavilion with Jim Waive and the Young Divorcees, and a Saturday “In the Cabaret” gig at the Hamner Theater. (See calendar, page 24, for details.) For folks that missed the gig at Is—or the pair’s Last Waltz-y moment alongside Sons of Bill at The Paramount Theater for “Long Black Veil” —the pair of shows presents two fine chances to hear the Dewdrops’ new material before they wander off again, on an East Coast tour that runs through the end of the year.
The wanderlust theme runs thick throughout If the Sun Will Shine, in songs like “Fly Away Free” and “Wandering Boy,” and in the pair’s broken handhold harmonies in “Stomping Ground.” (“Love, like a sun/ behind the clouds and rain./ When you see her going/ she’s coming back again.”) But, musically, the band doesn’t stray too far from the contemporary take on Appalachian folk that musicians like Gillian Welch pursue.
The best instruments the pair has to offer—Wortman’s unblemished, Natalie Merchant vocals and Parrish’s long, restless fingers on the fretboard of anything stringed —are finely tuned, and the Dewdrops’ songcraft is consistent without being pushy. Parrish solos, and Wortman calls him home; she lyrically longs, and he restrains her with a mandolin fill here, a guitar riff there. Rather than ambitious in a modern sense, the songs on If the Sun Will Shine strive for the country-folk canon—traditional accuracy that, occasionally, strays to show the strengths of the two musicians. And, much like the Dewdrops’ weekend gigs, each return to simple songs feels like a welcome one.
Speaking of returns…
I can practically smell the scalp aftershave now! Chris Daughtry, Fluvanna County’s one-time “American Idol” contestant and leader of the multi-platinum-selling rock band Daughtry, will return to Charlottesville for his first gig since his sold-out set at The Paramount Theater in 2008. This time, Daughtry (the man) and Daughtry (the band) will see if they can fill a bigger room—the John Paul Jones Arena, on Friday, November 20. According to DaughtryOfficial.com, tickets for the gig go on-sale on Saturday, September 19. I bet that a few local musicians—Daughtry semi-mentor Andy Waldeck, and semi-protégé Will Thomas—may be in the audience, along with a few thousand “Idol” fans.
Feedback announced the Daughtry news on Twitter (twitter.com/cvillefeedback) and on the Feedback blog last week, alongside a few other bits of information—a September 17 concert by Chick Tragic and the Roosters at The Southern, and quick exchange between Feedback and local “Make Me a Supermodel” contestant Colin Steers (twitter.com/colinsteers) about…cat massages. If that’s not enough to get you folks following Feedback on the Internet, I don’t know what will do the trick.
Anyone following the blog also knows that Feedback recently sat down with local portrait artist Eliza Evans during our annual Best of C-VILLE party and came away with a new look for his old mug. To read about the experience, head to c-ville.com for a peek at Evans’ portrait process.