"Somewhere around the middle of the Natchez Trace Parkway, halfway between the (in)famous crossroads of Clarksdale, MS, and Nashville, home of The Grand Old Opry and the Ryman, lays the spiritual home of The Nouveaux Honkies. That’s where you’re halfway between blues and country. Those two genres aren’t always too related, but Hank Williams, for one, knew they were kinfolk. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry practically defines twangy blues. The Honkies sophomore album explores that relationship a little more fully."
"The Nouveaux Honkies represent so much of what’s good about Americana music today." (Twangville.com Shawn Underwood)
"All of these songs sound like something you've heard before -- in the sense that they're classics, not that they're cliched. The Nouveaux Honkies confidently combine country, blues, and rock'n'roll with their signature loving and playful touch." (No Depression/Rachel Cholst)
"Whether they are doing straight up country, or bluesy soul or folk rock, their sounds comes through as a couple of completely relaxed musicians who don't have to answer to anybody, who don't have to be anywhere they don't want to be." (Calvin Powers..Americana music show podcast)
"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." (The Daily Country)
"I had never heard of The Nouveaux Honkies, the Americana duo featuring Tm O’Donnell and Rebecca Dawkins, until latest platter “Blues for Country” came across my desk a couple weeks ago. As such, I had no idea what I’d been missing. O’Donnell and Hawkins are a first-rate tandem and this album, with its wide range of Southern influences, should raise their profile considerably." (Jeffrey Sisk..Pittsburgh In Tune)
"The Nouveau Honkies' imaginative originals are well-conceived interpretations of blues and R&B classics. They have a matchless sound and perform a blistering show with their futuristic approach to music that nevertheless retains an authentic American style. With fluid guitar work, reverent vocals and a haunting violin, this deep rhythm section is a discovery of the year." (Dusty Scott, Modern Guitars magazine)"If you ever want to get baptized in pure music, spend an hour listening to Rebecca and Tim in an intimate venue like Carmela's, The love pours off the stage and crawls across the floor like the smoke from a dry ice machine. Tim sings every song like it was a story he wrote himself this morning and he can't wait to make you feel the way he does about it. Every time I get a chance to hear them I find myself smiling from the first note to the last. Can't wait until next Tuesday." (Daniel Poulos)
From way down South, here come The Nouveaux Honkies. This violin, guitar, bass and drum quartet are Roots and Roll that Rocks.
“If Johnny Cash and Freddy King had a baby it would be the Nouveaux Honkies,” said the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.
A permanent run on the road
Florida's own americana troubadours, The Nouveaux Honkies, have been ziggin' and zaggin' across the highways for over a year in a RV they bought for $500 bucks. Sounds like an unnerving endeavor to many but singer/guitarist Tim O'Donnell dedicated 6 months of servitude and tackled what looked like a disaster with an outright rebuild. The conclusion is a high tech, solar powered, self sufficient contraption, equipped with its own espresso bar, mini studio, and more comforts than most studio apartments in NYC. "We pulled out on Aug 6, 2014 and drove straight to Wheeling, WV to play the Heritage Blues Festival with Matt "Guitar" Murphy. We sold all our stuff, had no more house, and after Wheeling we formally had no more agents, dates, contracts, or obligations. It was Rebecca and I, my guitar, her fiddles, some percussion and our two dogs, Kilroy and Dolly Pardon." Since then they have dodged tornadoes in New Orleans, ran from floods in Texas, been snowed on in Colorado, pulled shotguns on hoodlums in Missouri, recorded their sophomore record in Austin, and played shows in all the places in between. They rounded out their summer in Nashville and head to Texas and back to Florida in the fall. "We call ourselves fair weather residents and Florida sure is lovely in those winter months." The release date for their new record "Blues For Country" will be announced shortly with a release party in Florida and touring to follow.
The whole story starts in 2005 when Rebecca and Tim started playing music together after a brutal hurricane season in Florida. Beck had moved down from South Carolina, and Tim had his guitar shop leveled and “any income” meant bills could get paid. They quickly developed a local following with their unique arrangements and quirky show.
"By then we were basically full time musicians. It was great, and I started to write again," says Tim. "We cut our first original album in 2007 and that gave us a true shot in the arm."
Where Do I Go was released in 2008, and the well received album peaked at number 3 on the Roots Americana Charts, and the band was touring nationally. Opening for acts like Asleep at the Wheel, John Anderson, Charlie Daniels, Joe Nichols, and doing tour dates with the legendary Matt "Guitar" Murphy, as his backup band, had the band on a busy schedule.
"Things were great for the Honkies, and we couldn't believe that when we set out to get a few jobs around town, it progressed into this.”
The band continued to tour until late 2012, and in 2013 Beck and Tim were married and took some time off.
"We needed to recharge the batteries and set some new goals. We initially thought of a big move to the ‘big spot,’ so we started looking for that big spot. The more we thought about it and talked about it, the less appealing it became." Then Rebecca said, "Let’s just pack up our stuff and go where ever we want, instead of laying down roots somewhere that we’ll really never spend time in."
As for the next chapter in their story, the two bought an RV and are completely rebuilding it to suit their needs. Now the new journey starts in July of 2014. As Tim remarked, "Musically, new material has stacked up over the last few years and we can’t wait to finalize and release what we’ve been working on. Simplifying will definitely benefit my writing and productivity."
Other recordings available now: Live at Sun, I'm Dreaming of a Honkies Christmas