Flyer Profile: The Honey Dewdrops

Photo: Courtesy by Neal Golden
The Honey Dewdrops are one of nearly 30 acts scheduled to play the second annual Fayetteville Roots Festival.

One of our favorite artists from the inaugural Fayetteville Roots Festival will be back for year two.

The Honey Dewdrops, made up of Virginia husband-and-wife duo Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish, will be in town for two performances during the second installment of the festival, set for Aug. 26-28 in Fayetteville.

The band has received all sorts of well-deserved acclaim. Their 2010 release These Old Roots stayed atop the Folk DJ Charts for nearly two months last year. Plus, the band has appeared on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, and was a finalist in Mountain Stage’s New Song Contest.

They’ll be performing on Friday, Aug. 26 at the “Friends of the Festival” Backstage concert at the Garner Farm, and on Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Starr Theatre inside the Walton Arts Center (times TBD).

We got in touch with them recently, and they were nice enough to answer some questions for us.

Fayetteville Flyer: What have you been listening to lately?
Honey Dewdrops: Gillian Welch The Harrow and the Harvest, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin Heart Songs: The Old Time Country Songs of Utah Phillips, The Beatles Mono Box Set Paul Simon So Beautiful or So What, Buddy Miller Majestic Silver Strings.

FF: What have you been up to musically lately? Writing? Recording? Touring? All of the above?
HD: This year has been busy! By December, we’ll have been on the road for about 10 months. We’re always writing and touring. We’re inspired to write by our travels. This period of time has been very creative with songs getting written by both of us whereas before, it was a process started by Kagey and finished up as a duo. The recording part always comes near the end of a batch of songs although we’ve become very fond of using our flip video to aid in remembering melodies and words.

FF: Something about touring around the country playing music with your spouse seems so romantic to me. Is it all it’s cracked up to be?
HD: It is romantic! Every night is like a brand new date, except we’re working. We eat meals together at the venue and get to hear music and then drive home (or to a hotel) together. We wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else.

FF: You were in town last year for the festival. What was your impression of Fayetteville?
HD: Fayetteville has become a second home to us. This will be our fourth time through the area to play music and we make new friends every time we return. It’s a lot like our hometown of Charlottesville, VA – both college towns with a strong support system for music, art, and local food. 3 Penny Acre is doing Fayetteville a great service in getting top-notch musicians like Guy Clark and Sarah and Johnny to come through the area.

FF: What was it like to play on A Prairie Home Companion. Did you get to kick it with Garrison at all?
HD: Prairie Home Companion is the reason we started playing music full time and also why we journeyed to Arkansas. Pat Villines and Mattie Speece of Ponca, AR won 2nd place in the contest and we became fast friends while in St. Paul, MN for the show. We did several shows together in and around Fayetteville that year.

It was a real treat to meet Garrison and share a few conversations. He stays very busy all the way up until show time which is a true testament to why the show is so successful. A great experience we’ll never forget!

FF: I have to ask if you’ve seen any of the documentaries about the White Family from West Virginia.
HD: We actually haven’t seen the documentaries but know of D. Ray and his family as famous flatfooters in Boone County. One of our favorite musicians, Mike Seeger, profiled D. Ray in a series called “Talking Feet” which aired on PBS, but we had the book.