Originally Published: March 14, 2012 9:55 p.m.
The melodies of "rootsy Americana" come to Prescott Saturday when the Honey Dewdrops bring their musical style to the stage of the Prescott Center for the Arts.
Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish combine honey and dew drops in the music they write, creating "sounds like music from an old song book," said Tom Agostino of Folk Sessions, which will open the show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. For tickets or information, call PCA at 445-3286, visit www.pca-az.net or stop by the box office at 208 N. Marina St.
"They are from the Blue Ridge Mountains, and they have sounds of old Appalachia. It takes you right back to the old Appalachia roots music," he said.
The couple's college encounter was serendipitous. Neither was new to the music scene, but when they became acquainted at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., seven years ago, their genre changed dramatically.
"We were playing in rock bands before we met and acoustic music on the side for fun," Wortman said. But then they discovered each other and their mutual love for folk music, and teamed up - both in marriage and as musicians.
"We had had always gone by our actual names until 2007," Wortman said. "But they don't exactly roll off the tongue. So we came up with the Honey Dewdrops, because we liked the Grand Ole Opry star from the '30s Uncle Dave Macon's nickname, the Dixie Dewdrops.
"At the time we lived in Scottsville, Va., home of the world-famous Dew Drop Inn from the 'Waltons' TV show. And we're a couple, so it was a play on 'honey-do,'" Wortman said.
Agostino first heard the Honey Dewdrops when he listened to Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" broadcast on National Public Radio one day.
"As soon as I heard them, I thought their authentic American roots-based music would go over well in Prescott. We have an appreciative audience for acoustic music that understands real talent," Agostino said.
Just a few Honey Dewdrops songs that the pair has written together are "Nobody in this World," "Bluest Blue Eyes," and "Silver Lining."
"We get a lot of inspiration from traveling and meeting people from many different walks of life," Wortman said. "Everybody has something interesting to offer up, and usually it is something that affects us in a positive way. It helps us to see things differently than we are able to alone."
Writing music is a collaborative effort for the Honey Dewdrops. "We both write lyrics and music," Wortman said. "Each song is a new writing experience for us. Some get finished in a day; some take a year to be completed."
How do their singing and musical styles blend into a song?
"Our music is folk duets," Wortman said. "We sing harmonies and play guitar, banjo and mandolin. There are elements of traditional American folk music, Americana and singer-songwriter sounds in our songs.
"We sing together in close harmony that is reminiscent of old-time and bluegrass singing. There are similarities to older music in our songs, such as our vocal style or the combination of instruments as we play. But we write new songs with up-to-date messages."
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