Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Honey Moon

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Honey Moon

Article excerpt


The Handsome Family (Carrot Top Records, 2009)


The Handsome Family is a perfectly postmodern family band.

Unlike the ones that litter the bluegrass and Southern gospel scenes, they consist only of a married couple--no children, cousins, or siblings. Their name isn't Handsome either, it's Sparks, and truth be told they are pretty ordinary looking. In fact the Handsome Family is what you'd get if you could cross the old-time Appalachian musical Carter Family with the pointed irony of Flannery O'Connor.

Their latest album, Honey Moon, was written and recorded to celebrate Brett and Rennie Sparks' 20th wedding anniversary. The songs are about love, but like most of the Handsome Family's work, they are still mostly down tempo, with the messages carried by jarring lyrical images of "Little Sparrows" singing to cars on the overpass, the tossing of dandelion seeds in the wind, or a walk through a dry and stony "Petrified Forest"

On "My Darling, My Darling," Brett Sparks repeatedly sings, "I'll give you everything," while in the distance someone whistles behind a mournful single-note organ line. …

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