How The Honey Dewdrops Blessed Charlotte
The Honey Dewdrops, an Americana duo, graced The Evening Muse with their presence last night and filled the 120-cap room with sugary-sweet harmonies, gorgeous music, and plenty of laughs. The twinkle of the stringed lights above the crowd set the tone for the performance as the crowd settled into their seats, beers in hand. Couples snuggled up in the green chairs while others held hands at the bar; overall, it was a very romantic show whether The Honey Dewdrops knew it or not. The duo consists of Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish, two Virginia natives who’ve found a home in Baltimore, MD. They’re currently on tour supporting their fourth album, Tangled Country, and are making their way around North Carolina.
Thanks to Charlotte traffic and my own personal clock, I arrived at The Evening Muse just as The Honey Dewdrops finished their first song. I opened the heavy wooden door, stepped over the stoop into the dark room, and froze. The sound that met my ears as soon as I crossed the threshold were two of the sweetest voices I’ve heard in awhile. The tight harmonies and subtle picking of both of their guitars had me in a trance; I almost forgot to check in!
When I finally did, I grabbed a beer of my own and found a seat near the back. The crowd was mesmerized by the duo on stage and I didn’t want to disturb the peace. As soon as the first song ended, the room full of what looked like mainly couples erupted into thunderous applause. The Honey Dewdrops beamed on stage while they tuned their instruments for the next song. As the night went on, they told us the humidity of the Carolinas was getting to their instruments.
Photo courtesy of The Honey Dewdrops Facebook
“You think you know what your instrument sounds like, but then it makes this weird sound and you’re like, ‘what?!’” commented Parrish. The amount of rain that has struck the Carolinas left behind a blanket of humidity that many, including the Baltimore-based band, were not happy about.
Perhaps one of the sweetest things about the night was the actual performers themselves. The way Parrish and Wortman moved on stage, as if no one else was in the room, demonstrated just how in sync they are as musicians. Their set started out with two acoustic guitars, but as the night progressed, Parrish traded in his guitar for a mandolin while Wortman played the banjo. About halfway through the night, they took a breath while Wortman set up their next song: “Remington.”
The instrumental song is the final track on Tangled Country and is the musical embodiment of the rare, quiet moments the couple find in the bustling and busy city of Baltimore.
“We play a lot on our porch and it’s hard to hear our acoustic instruments over the noise of the city,” said Wortman. “We’d find these quiet moments every now and again and we were inspired to write this song.”
The next few minutes were dreamy. Everyone in the crowd, including the bartenders, were still and their eyes were glued to the stage. Normally during shows, I like to take pictures and post them on various social media accounts to let everyone know how great a band is, but this was a very different experience for me. I don’t remember putting down my phone as the song started; all I can say is that about halfway through the song, I felt tears welling in my eyes. I can honestly say that an instrumental track has never brought me to tears, but The Honey Dewdrops found a way into my heart and I am forever a fan.
The song felt like something familiar I can’t quite name. All of the weight on my shoulders from my life outside The Evening Muse was lifted and I felt cozy and relaxed. Who knew two strangers from Baltimore could take my heart apart and put it together with some light guitar strumming and skilled banjo picking?
Based on “Remington” alone, I would, and will, recommend The Honey Dewdrops to everyone I meet.
Although The Evening Muse is now home to the band’s debut performance in Charlotte, The Honey Dewdrops have performed in North Carolina many times. Based on this performance alone, it seems as if they’ve found some new fans in the Queen City. After every single song, the crowd’s applause made it difficult to hear Wortman while she tried to introduce the next song. Charlotte sure does love raw talent!
The remainder of 2016 will serve as a traveling experience for The Honey Dewdrops. After they play in North Carolina through the weekend, they duo will head out to the Midwest and make their way across the country. Although a new record is not on the way this year, Tangled Country, is more than enough to hold fans like me over.
If you’re in Asheville, Brevard, or Cary this weekend, do yourself a huge favor and check out The Honey Dewdrops. You’ll have another band to add to your favorites list.
Photo courtesy of The Honey Dewdrops Facebook