The Portland Mercury previews The Handsome Family’s show at The Doug Fir on 4/30

The Handsome Family Husband and wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks Americana Albuquerque Baby Robot Media

THE HANDSOME FAMILY, WILDEWOOD, LEWI LONGMIRE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The husband-and-wife duo known as the Handsome Family have been making odd Americana albums for the past 21 years. The songs are led by Brett Sparks’ deep baritone voice, but it’s largely Rennie Sparks’ lyrics that make them so notable. From historical fiction to odes to inanimate objects, they combine a gothic taste for the macabre with dry, absurdist humor. Their mix of sincere folk tradition and clever alt-country has made them a difficult band to pigeonhole—too weird to fit among Steve Earle or Gillian Welch, not over-the-top enough to be on a playlist with Silver Jews or the Magnetic Fields. While they’ve been critically acclaimed and widely covered for years, it’s the use of their song “Far from Any Road” as last year’s True Detective theme that’s brought their music to a wider audience. Tonight, expect a curious convergence of wide-eyed newcomers and long-time obsessives. READ MORE…