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Music Review - 'Threadbare' by Honey Don't (dm)

Honey Don'tThreadbare (Click to watch the video)

31 March 2022

 

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Honey Don’t, an Oregon based roots music band, is taking its listeners on a romantic journey on its third record, Threadbare. The opening track could belong a century long past, or present day. Bill Powers, guitarist, songwriter, and lead vocalist, sings of a journey “eight more miles” from completion.

“Denver Ramble” and “Big Water Ahead,” the subsequent titles, preview the band’s cartography – locating listeners somewhere in the American soul between history and myth. The backup vocals of bassist, Shelley Gray, add sweet harmony and plaintive longing to Threadbare’s tales of hard travel, pioneer struggle, Americana snapshots, and tributes to the natural world. CJ Neary’s fiddle, coupled with Benji Nagel’s dobro, makes ideal accompaniment for a funereal lament, or a downhome boogie. Don Hawkins keeps a steady beat.

The uptempo songs occasionally bear too strong resemblance to each other, making the inclusion of 13 tracks on Threadbare slightly questionable. However, it is difficult to resist dancing to the likes of “Five Foot Four from Forth Worth,” and more contemplative material, like “For the Roses” and “Ain’t No Damn Up on the Yampa,” effectively pull on the heartstrings as if they belong to another instrument in the band’s lineup.

Honey Don’t produced the record themselves, which seems like wise choice. There are no sacrifices on authenticity, but the songs still sound clear and vivid, and each solo pops like a late night campfire.

Gather round and enjoy!

  

 David Masciotra

 

 

David Masciotra (www.davidmasciotra.com) is the author of four books, including Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing, 2017) and Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky, 2015).

To read all of David's reviews, click here 

 

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