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Unfit Wives, 'Milk & Honey'

This #NowPlaying discovery comes to us from this year's Tiny Desk Contest and NPR Member station KCUR.

Unfit Wives calls itself "bluegrass with attitude" — a more-than-apt description of the quartet out of Lawrence, Kan. In its Tiny Desk Contest submission for "Milk & Honey," the four members – Jenna Rae on guitar, Monica Greenwood on mandolin, Reagan Zagan on banjo and Kahlen Ryba on bass – stand tall in cowboy boots and harmonize into a sole microphone. (And in keeping with Tiny Desk Contest rules, the video features not one, but three miniature desks!) They're one jug player short of a slot at the Grand Ole Opry.

Just two years old as a group, Unfit Wives already summon the dare-me-not-to attitude of The Chicks and Dolly Parton, the group's clear forebears. "No one to tell me where I am not allowed," Rae sings of this haven, from the beat-downs of working life. Such a land may exist "only in your mind," as Rae sings, but that's not stopping Unfit Wives from printing its own ticket.

Copyright 2021 KCUR 89.3

Gabe Rosenberg