Honey Don’t

Alternate root Review  Click here to read online

Written by, Danny McCloskey

Alternate Root

July 2014

On their debut CD, Colorado’s Honey Don’t added a little more shimmy to the old-timey bluegrass of the band the Sweet Sunny South. Bill Powers and Shelley Gray are 50% of Sweet Sunny South and 100% of Honey Don’t.  On the duo’s recent release, Heart Like A Wheel, Honey Don’t let the songs move further from tradition. The songs on Heart Like A Wheel have the same roots heart but each allows their own muse to guide the music bed. “Feel Like Going Home” has the homemade feel of a mountain song starring a returning solider with Eric Moon’s organ chords adding to the happy melancholy a fullness to the strings. Somewhere about a minute into “Stand Up!” there were banners waving around and fists pumping out a chorus. The tune is a rallying cry for a non-specific cause and a hard sell on the power of community.

Honey Don’t stay current by letting the music be a melting pot by mining note nuggets from multiple strongholds of style adding t the stringband core with weaving jazz lines (“Barry’s Wild Ride”), fresh air country rock (“Colorado Wine”) and political rockabilly twang (“Rock and A Hard Place”).  The stepping that Honey Don’t keeps their feet busy and makes sure they do not get tagged by switching dance moves. The woes of a cover band, and the fears of the musician for burning in hell for not playing pop hit request are delivered with a little western swing and “Heart of Glass” slows the old blood pumper to reverie beat for a version of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”. Honey Don’t never need to offer a co-write to anyone in their songs, they honor the work of others by offering them a part in their own art.