Local Wire

The Handsome Family @ The Rhythm Room

The Handsome Family are nothing if not persistent. There are not many bands that have gone through as much weird stuff, yet made so many awesome albums with so many weird albums covers. This is even more impressive considering that The Handsome Family is, literally, a family — a married couple to be more accurate. Brett and Rennie Sparks formed The Handsome Family in 1993 with then-drummer Mike Werner. The average length of any given marriage is only 11 years, and most married couples don't record albums or go on tour together. Such situations have to be rife with argument territory and yet they are still together. So they must be perfectly sane humans that just "get" each other and just "get" how to be normal well-adjusted down-home alt-country folk, right? Nope, Brett is a loonball. Ahem, excuse me, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in the mid-'90s after an "emotional breakdown." I can only assume someone prescribed him some meds and sent them on their merry way. The meds must be working, too, because it has been nothing but great music ever since.

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Shawn Anderson