Exposure - The Handsome Family


This article is from 2009.

Exposure - The Handsome Family

The Handsome Family - My Friend

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The Handsome Family, a husband and wife duo living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, do folk-country-bluegrass with the sweetness of Cash and Carter and the imagery that only the experiences of time, travel and troubles and can so delicately induce. She, a fiction writer from New York, has been writing sublimely somber stories for Brett's baritone delivery since their debut almost 15 years ago. With a recent release, Honey Moon, comprised of ballads that tell us of June bugs, a winding corn maze and that 'love is like a white moth sipping tears from sleeping birds,' the couple return now to Scotland to share sensitivities as deep as their catalogue. Meet one-half of the family, Rennie Sparks.

Where are you two from and do these places affect your musical imaginations?
Brett’s from Texas and I’m from NY. I grew up in a rural part of Long Island. Lots of vines and noises in the night. We have so many influences it's hard to know where songs come from in the end. We like old songs.

What kind of records have you enjoyed lately?
Lately we’ve been listening to a lot of The Platters and The Mills Brothers. They are so romantic and evocative yet so formal. We also love Alfred Deller.

Have you been to Scotland before?
Yes, many times. Last time we drove around the Highlands listening to Ivor Cutler. Delightful, scary, gorgeous. I saw a fox running down the street late at night in Edinburgh. That was pretty amazing. We don’t have a lot of foxes. We do have road runners though.

What's on the cards for this year?
Lots of touring.


The Handsome Family play The Americana Festival in Glasgow at The Tron on May 17.

This article is from 2009.

The Handsome Family

Mordant wit from the Addams family of country rock. Rennie writes the lyrics about killing small mammals and husband Brett delivers them in his dry baritone.

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Mon 27 Feb

£16.50 / 0113 275 2411

The Caves, Edinburgh

Fri 24 Feb

£15 / 0131 510 1122

Concorde 2, Brighton

Fri 3 Mar

£15 / 01273 673311

With Courtney Marie Andrews.

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