I suppose it’s unhealthy prejudice, but forgive us for thinking that Tamara Parsons-Baker was going to be chortling jodhpurred lass singing nasal, plummy songs about palomino geldings. Imagine our surprise in being confronted with a beautifully clear voice that trickles through the air like a limpid stream above some subtle guitar.
Humphrey 'Huck' Astley is a veteran of the Oxford music scene, having played bass with notorious extreme metallers Sextodecimo since their inception a decade ago. Although a lover of rock as well as the avant-garde, his heart was often in the traditional genres of blues, country and folk, and it was only a matter of time before he gave them their dues. In the summer of '09 he transplanted Sextodecimo's powerhouse drummer Tommy Longfellow from one stool to the other and recruited bassist Matt Halliday (who makes time between full-on duty in Borderville and occasional moonlighting with Stornoway and Richard Walters) to fill out the Fee sound.
Tamara Parsons-Baker, a singer-songwriter in her own right and perhaps Oxford's finest female vocalist, cut her teeth at the city's myriad open mics, where she and Astley would often duet; her joining the band was the natural course of action. The result is a combo that plays hard and soft and fun and fierce, in a style they like to call 'the New Butch'. With the Tom Waits songbook in one pocket and some lipstick in the other, Huck and the Handsome Fee are poised for 2010.
Part-time musician, part-time worker, looking for full-time employment in one, not the other. Seeks solo career as Tamara, but works well with a bevy of fictional men called 'The Martyrs'. Will perform for whiskey and chips but preferably money. Skills include singing, playing guitar and hosting a monthly music night called 'All Tamara's Parties'. Areas of development include learning the piano and improving writing skillz. References can be obtained from my mother, brother and my Real Bad Lover.