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The Honey Dewdrops

Anyone Can See – 2019 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by The Honey Dewdrops

The fifth full-length release from Baltimore-based duo The Honey Dewdrops is an acoustic set of old time country that reflects their Appalachian roots with traces of bluegrass and folk. The husband and wife team of Kagey Parrish and Laura Wortman wrote the eight originals, with the lone cover being an effective take on Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man" that spotlights Parrish's acoustic guitar lead and smooth tenor vocal.

The most powerful of the originals is "Going Rate" about the 2015 death of Freddie Gray ("We don't want to learn to know/The eyes of the law/Who can't see the use/In one justice for all") with Wortman shining on lead vocal. Equally compelling is "For One More" in which Parrish sings of the "Poison words some may say" with regard to immigration policy while declaring "The door will always open/For one more."

The duo's sweet harmonies are best displayed on "More Than You Should Say," about a haunting memory from an unfortunate trip to the bar before a flight ("There you were paying your tab/When a man dropped dead on your right"), as well as "Easy" which portrays a relationship on the verge of dissolution ("Your soft eyes, looking hard at me/Your feather voice, isn't laughing"). The instrumental "Ecola," featuring Parrish on mandolin, also stands out.

Produced by Nicholas Sjostrom along with Kagey and Wortman, the album was recorded live at Clean Cut Studios in Baltimore. Considering the sparse instrumentation implemented throughout, The Honey Dewdrops achieve an appealing and deceptively full sound with their pleasant vocals, stellar musicianship and smart compositions.