I have made it no secret that I’m a mountain girl. I’d rather camp or visit family in the mountains than go to some of the world’s most beautiful cities. Why go when you can find some of the prettiest places on earth here? These hills and mountains of West Virginia and Virginia will always be a part of me just as the rivers that run through the land will always run through my veins. Roaming these ancient mountains, walking on the earth my ancestors have trod since the mid-1700s, and listening to the wind sing the songs they once sung is truly what I’m about. So, when I heard Silver Lining, the new album from Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish – the husband and wife duo who call themselves The Honey Dewdrops – an instant kinship was formed based on their music.
Founded on a solid base of guitar, clawhammer banjo, and mandolin, it’s this strong continuation of mountain tradition mixed with a slight modern sensibility that represents their Blue Ridge Mountain home as well as all of the other mountain ridges that make up this Appalachian region. Silver Lining is a mix of their own songs as well as a cover of The Seeger Sisters’ “Bright Morning Stars” that connects with me on a deep level, but it’s the powerful message of “Hills of My Home” that has affected me so greatly causing me to cry an ugly cry. It’s a song about the blight of mountaintop removal which has the capacity to politely and poetically persuade some of the staunchest Capitalist mine operators if only they had the heart to listen. It’s a song that would make our heroes of traditional folk music proud.
All-in-all, listening to Silver Lining is like listening to the songs of my heart. It’s an album that has a dual affect and effect on my soul. On one hand, these are songs that are capable of healing my homesick heart that longs to go back to the days and nights spent in the Alleghany mountains of Virginia; then, on the other, The Honey Dewdrops have the ability to break this aching heart that longs for those young and innocent days in those wonderful mountains.