The Honey Dewdrops' second album, These Old Roots, may have been released in the fall of 2010, but from the sound of it, it could have been made 70 years earlier. Well, not quite. Sound fidelity wasn't nearly this good then. But Charlottesville, VA husband-and-wife team Kagey Parrish and Laura Wortman made a point of recording the old-fashioned way, recording their guitars and Parrish's mandolin, as well as their vocals, in complete performances in the studio and issuing them that way, virtually without edits or overdubs. It's an appropriate approach given the style of music, which is old-timey mountain music sung with country harmonies and played in fingerpicking style. The great surprise is that almost all the songs are newly written originals by Parrish and Wortman; only "Can't Get a Letter from Home" is credited as "Traditional from the singing of Addie Graham from Magoffin County, Kentucky." Wortman, singing lead, personifies jilted and faithful lovers and Parrish chimes in here and there, while holding down the instrumental accompaniment with his sure-handed runs on guitar and mandolin. The Honey Dewdrops are trying to evoke a type of music that came down the mountain a long time ago as if it came down last week, and they largely succeed.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann