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Honey & Houston

Honey & Houston

"Honey & Houston is driven by the vocal, songwriting and instrumental talents of singer/guitarist Heather Turner (formerly of Tupelo Honey) and singer/ upright bassist Lauren Houston, who met while performing at the same show in 2006. They became friends and began to not only play music together but also travel the world with each other. Their first album is said to be inspired by some of those journeys, particularly their travels to Italy and (as the name implies) Spain. Honey & Houston is expertly rounded out by drummer Daniel Peterson (who played in Tupelo Honey with Turner) and multi-instrumentalist Mark Cretcher, who plays mandolin, banjo, lap steel and guitar on the new album.

Along with the strong writing, flawless musicianship and spectacular melodies, Turner and Houston’s harmonies are some of the most stunning elements of the Honey & Houston sound.

The vocalists’ voices sound made for each other and when combined they send chills. There’s also an endearing traditional Country component to some of the harmonies and on Barcelona tracks like the twangy “Giving Up” and the sweet, swaying ballad “No Money.” If placed in the Nashville Country Music Machine ™, it’s not hard to imagine Honey & Houston being transformed into the kind of band that could churn out Country Pop radio hits. But, as Barcelona shows, the band is perfect just the way it is, with its heartfelt songwriting and broader, gracefully intermingled influences. In a just world, some of these songs would be radio hits. And maybe someday, with the right backing (from people who realize Honey & Houston is already fully formed and in no need of outside assistance with their musical creations) they will be.

There’s not a down moment on the enchanting Barcelona, with each of the 10 tracks a gem.

From the rollicking, spine-tingling opener “Rosie” and the quartet’s buoyant, soulful take on the traditional Gospel tune “In My Time of Dying” (interpreted by Blind Willie Johnson, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and scores of other artists over the past 90 years) to the Folk rockin’ “Dreamer” and the strutting and soaring title track (the most compelling song on the record), Honey & Houston have made one of the best debut albums to ema nate from the Greater Cincinnati music scene in recent memory. If this is just the beginning, watch out — these musicians have a masterpiece in them and have shown (with Barcelona and live shows) they have what it takes to take their music to the masses and enrapture them."  - Mike Breen, CityBeat