The Spares

The Spares

 Chicago, Illinois, USA

2009 JPF Americana Album of the Year nominee! The Spares make twangy, bluesy, original roots music. UK magazine Maverick calls The Spares' music "hauntingly gorgeous," and New City (Chicago) says it's "simple, aching, and hearty." Compare to Alison Krauss, Patty Griffin, T-Bone Burnett


Americana artists The Spares released their new CD, Everything is Easy, at a sold-out concert at the 400-seat Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. This is the duo's fifth album and their first studio release since Beautiful and Treacherous Thing, which was a national finalist in 2009 for Americana Album of the Year in the Just Plain Folks Music Awards.  
The Spares' original acoustic music has been described as “hauntingly gorgeous” (Maverick Magazine), “simple, aching and hearty” (NewCity Chicago), and “somewhere in heaven between Gram Parsons and Alison Krauss"  (Smother Magazine). "Their sound kind of tracks their personal journeys in encompassing the range of the American heartland," says Alison Cuddy of WBEZ (Chicago's NPR affiliate). "That may be why, in spite of the literal spareness of their music, it can be hard to categorize.” Indeed, the new songs on Everything is Easy fuse country, folk, blues and rock. The lyrics are thoughtful and honest, just as the music is raw, beautiful and compelling.  

Jodee Lewis and Steve Hendershot formed The Spares in 2005. They write and sing twangy, bluesy, roots music about characters who are desperate and hopeful, buoyant and brokenhearted—sometimes all at once. The stories hint at love and truth in ways that the characters themselves don't always recognize. For more information, visit



Written By: Steve Hendershot & Jodee Lewis

I got a little bit of money coming in, and I'm about to make my move
The way I see it, I can't go too far, or leave too soon
I'm gonna go to Mexico, across the Rio Grande
Buy myself a rifle, cattle and some land
I've got a little bit of money coming and I've got to take my stand

I bought back my soul last night at the bar
I called in my notice after midnight from the car
I have kept the trail but lost the scent
I'm tearing up the map, gonna find out where it went
I bought back my soul last night at the bar

Forty hours of driving, how's that for irony
Take me to the 24-and-7, from the 8-to-5:15
We'll pass the time, singing all the way
I want you to come with me, and then I hope you'll stay
We'll sing songs all the way down and celebrate

First thing that we'll do once we're settled in
Is tell our friends and family how to reach us Mexicans
I know that this is sudden; I know it's hard
But I feel like this is prison, and we're 'bout to jump the yard
They'll dial nine to get out, and we'll be way down south

We can't be sure what we'll find down there
At this point, if it's different, that's enough and I don't care
I'll need a set of spurs and a place to watch the sun come up
I'll need a sense of worth, I'll need your love, and probably that's enough
Get your stuff, let's go to Mexico

Chapel of the Winding Road

Written By: Steve Hendershot & Jodee Lewis

Down at the chapel of the winding road
There’s an angel of mercy at the bar
With an empty glass and a flower dress
All alone in the corner
All the battered souls pass by and pay respects
In the back there’s a card game
A guy hollers from a table clear across the room
Wonders if she feels like gambling

They drive west all night with the windows down
In his ancient El Camino
He’s got his arm around her and they’re singing along
With the country songs on satellite radio
And it feels all right
And it feels all right

They’re telling stories while the sun comes up
Driving through the mountains
Stories that might be funny if you saw them on TV
But had them in ruins
They’re laughing anyway, and it feels good
To find someone who can see you
They hit the coast and don’t want to stop
So they turn right and cross the border

They would drive all night with the windows down
In his ancient El Camino
He’s got his arm around her and they’re singing along
With the country songs on satellite radio
And it feels all right
And it feels all right

They’re by the water when she tells him she loves him
Sees him in the glory of the setting sun
Says, ‘You’re as good a man as I could hope to find
Living on the run’

He drives that night through the Puget Sound
To the Emerald Queen in Tacoma
He picks a table but doesn’t see his play
There’s no opening, no getaway
Just a long road home
With an angel of mercy

Waiting for the Smoke to Clear

Written By: Jodee Lewis & Steve Hendershot

Twenty-seven years living life with a charm
We were smiling but at what I couldn't say
If we were being honest, we'd sound the alarm
'Cause the grass was getting drier every day
And now that’s it’s burning it seems just like a dream
That the grass was ever green

It finally happened the fire caught up with us
It burned so hot it probably made nothing out of what was
It’s hard to make out what’s gone and what’s still here
I’m waiting for the smoke to clear

Tearing down a house with your own hands is not that hard
When the house is only made of sticks and straw
And it's easy to convince yourself that living in the yard
With the fire and the pleasure isn't wrong
And now that it's burning, it seems so out of hand
It's consumed more of me than I had planned

What are you going to do with our life together?
What are you going to do with me?
With me?

You and the Moon

Written By: Steve Hendershot & Jodee Lewis

You and your baby grand
And your big fake book of jazz
You and the latest little gadget
That you’ve got to have
You and the sweet things that you say
How you get nervous around me
You and the little songs you always sing

You and the moon are anti-gravity
I get carried away from reality
Breathing it all in beyond the stratosphere
You and the stars are birds of a feather
Born to float through space together
So beautiful and bright to me down here
Way down here

You and a tired Broadway show
Are always on the move
You and the money come and go
But you call this home
You and the saints persevere
You and the phoenix reappear
You and the band just drive and play it again somewhere

I want to stop and take a picture
I want to send it home
They’ll see us burning up the interstate
My eyes are closed


Everything is Easy (2010)—The Spares' latest studio release
Now That It's Burning (2009) —A download-only album of live performances.
Beautiful and Treacherous Thing (2007)—A finalist for Americana Album of the Year in the Just Plain Folks Music Awards.
Glory and Grace (2007)—A collection of original sacred music
Hand Me Down (2005)—The song "Mexico" won "Song of the Year -- Country" at the Independent Artists Company's awards program.

Set List

A typical Spares headline set runs about minutes and consists of 18-20 songs. Ninety percent of the songs we do are original. Here's a sample:

You and the Moon
Cigarette Song
Don't Cry Lila
Maybe I Am Too
I Don't Love You Anymore
Waiting for the Smoke to Clear
Fast As You (cover)
Down in Memphis
Nodding Like I Do
On Demand
Folsom Prison Blues (cover)
Chapel of the Winding Road
Wayfaring Stranger (traditional)