May 11, 2012
The Honey Dewdrops and Ari & Mia
The Virginia-based Honey Dewdrops feature pitch-perfect glorious harmonies, rock-solid runs on guitar/mandolin, affable stage charisma — they put on quite a show. Sisters Ari & Mia are promising local talents — their charming vocals, instrumental expertise, and interpretations shine on their debut album, Unruly Heart.
Hailing from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Charlottesville, VA, the Honey Dewdrops are Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish. Writing and singing in the veins of folk and old country music, the Dewdrops entwine harmony singing with tight instrumentation and craft songs that are simple and fine-tuned. Theirs are new songs from the southern mountains that ring with originality.
Laura and Kagey have been touring the country over the past four years and have appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion,” gained Folk Radio notoriety with a #1 album and have shared the stage with musical greats such as Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mary Gauthier, and the Matt Flinner Trio.
The Dewdrops began their careers as songwriters and have released two critically acclaimed albums, If the Sun Will Shine (2009) and These Old Roots (2010) both of which charted at the #1 and #2 positions on the Folk DJ-L Charts for 2010.
The Honey Dewdrops combine a high lonesome duet harmony vocal style with contagious energy, soulful new songs and a fresh angle. The result, with guitars, a banjo and a mandolin, is a sound that welcomes you in like a dear old friend. Warm and honest, the Dewdrops fill up a room with sound and spirit.
They will release their third album, Silver Lining, in late spring 2012.
Photo by Jack Looney
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Ari & Mia, Boston’s Americana sister act, are a soulful and spirited acoustic accompanied duo exploring the traditions of Southern Appalachia, Northeastern fiddle music, and the realm where their own compositions cross paths with older traditions. Their hearts also lie with early American swing and jazz music. Combine this with their bold approach to song and tune-writing and their interpretations of traditional music and the result will open hearts and dance floors.
Ari & Mia’s “intricate arrangements, soaring harmonies, infectious grooves and intuitive improvisations combine an old-time sensibility with a truly adventurous spirit,” says Hankus Netsky of New England Conservatory. Their new album, Unruly Heart, ranked high on the national folk radio charts for 2011.
Ariel Friedman, a classically trained cellist from the Boston area, is one of few musicians to be challenging the boundaries of cello-playing. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2008 and received a masters of music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory in 2011. A winner of ASTA’s 2009 Alternative Styles Award, she is in current exploration of American roots traditions, early jazz and standards, and in composing songs and pieces influenced by her diverse musical tastes.
Born into a musical family, Mia started playing violin and singing at an early age. She has her roots in Americana and old-time Appalachian traditions, and blends this with contemporary experimental music in her compositions. Now in her final year at New England Conservatory, she is an active composer and performer. Her song “Across the Water” won the 2011 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category.
- On the Honey Dewdrops:
- This is fresh, homegrown music but deeply rooted in tradition and most importantly it is really good! Anne & Pete Sibley
- The musical equivalent to a couple that finishes each other’s sentences. Shawn Underwood, Twangville.com
- Their talent is such that it’s quite possible that a new band recording in the year 2020 might cite The Honey Dewdrops as a prime influence. Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine
- Long may The Honey Dewdrops continue to make music this timeless. Maverick Magazine
- . . .
- On Ari and Mia:
- Cuts blend a traditional rootsy grounding with a clear background of classical training. Their style settings vary from Appalachian kitchens, to contra dance floors, to concert halls. Their own works are soothing and fresh. . . . Throughout the release their instrumentation is tasteful and accomplished, varying speed and emotional attack. This duo is taking the classical study of a Contemporary Improvisation Program and bringing it alive in folk touring circles. SingOut!
- Ari & Mia are promising talents who have what it takes to make it. Their charming vocals, instrumental expertise, and interpretations shine on Unruly Heart. Common Folk Music
- Like their slightly older contemporaries, Crooked Still, Ari and Mia mix cello with Appalachian-folk-influenced music with clawhammer banjo, sometimes Gospel-like textures, and throw in jazz and even classical influence. Sometimes, their music can remind me of classical composer Aaron Copeland’s approach to traditional American folk music. The result is eminently listenable and quite appealing.George Graham, from The Graham Weekly Album Review on WVIA-FM