Nouveaux Honkies

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In mid 2014, Rebecca Dawkins and Tim O’Donnell, of The Nouveaux Honkies, hoisted anchor and set sail in their rebuilt RV. The journey started in South Florida and took them as far west as the Rockies, as far north as the Great Lakes, as far east as Cape Cod, and returned south for the winter. It’s been somewhere around 150 thousand miles, 600 shows, and at least one million smiles that has influenced The Nouveaux Honkies and their Loud In Here CD release in March of 2018. The New Year will also see TNH with a permanent residence in Knoxville, TN. O’Donnell says, “We based out of Tennessee the last two summers and fell in love with the Smokies. Knoxville will be a wonderful spring through fall hub for traveling and we also love this little city.” Their 2015 release, “Blues For Country,” masterfully blended styles. Their new release, “Loud In Here,” is a continuance of that same concept, respecting the greats and creating their own gumbo, which reveals a highway of influences.

“Loud In Here” is their third full length release and their second album recorded at The Zone in the hill country of Dripping Springs, Texas. It’s a culmination of the bonds they have made across the country. The album features special guests: Bill Kirchen, Ephraim Owens, Nate Rowe, Chris Gage, Lloyd Maines, Pat Manske, and Tim Buppert. O’Donnell says, “We arranged this record in the studio. We wrote most of the stuff a few weeks earlier when we were in Nashville and working with all theses dudes was just awesome. It was super relaxed and just plain fun. Ray Kennedy at Zen Masters did his magic and Tanya Shaw Jeffrey from Ginseng Creative in Colorado knocked the artwork outta the park.” Co-writing credits go to Rich Lyons from Florida. The record spans a full

emotional gauntlet and Rebecca Dawkins’ fiddling has expanded into an amazing singing presence. From humor and quirky duets like Will and Faith, Big Heart, Hard Head and their version of The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly, through innovative ballads like The Glades, Loud In Here, Heart Can’t Live Here, and Wichita Lineman, to pumping rockers like Today Won’t Be Easy and Playing Cards With Myself, this new record is a musical rollercoaster. The Nouveaux Honkies look forward to the new release and performing for the folks that afforded them the life they love.

To record Blues for Country, The Nouveaux Honkies pulled their RV into the peaceful hill country town of Dripping Springs, Texas, a tiny town 30 minutes West of Austin. “We had our dogs, our espresso machine, our bed, our kitchen and the whole thing was super relaxed,” remembers Dawkins. “I think it reflects in the recording. It doesn’t feel frantic or rushed even though we were in and out in 8 days.” On Blues for Country, O’Donnell’s whiskey-tinged vocals are a perfect match for Rebecca Dawkins’ glorious harmonies and soaring fiddling; the two of them can sound as charming as an old-school country duet like Parton and Wagoner, or as bittersweet as that old recording of Townes Van Zandt and Emmylou Harris. In fact, the two cover Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty” on the new album, though most of the songs are originals from O’Donnell’s pen. O’Donnell’s songs track the road-rambling ways of The Nouveaux Honkies, from “Life Ain’t Easy,” an unvarnished look at the touring life of musicians, to “I Know Things You Read About,” a funny song that speaks to the hard-won life skills learned on the road, or “Hours Into Days,” which sadly chronicles the distance that can well up between two people. O’Donnell’s the best kind of songwriter–able to swing between bitingly funny and touchingly honest–and he showcases this on stellar songs like the opening track “Blues for Country,” which perfectly mixes R&B vocal swagger with Dawkin’s country fiddle.
On Blues for Country, The Nouveaux Honkies roll hard through songs that have soaked up the fresh air of the American backroads this duo drive through every day, informed by all the great cities of the South, and beholden only to the open road.