The Spares
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The Spares

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Ten Independent Artists You Should Know"

Spring 2005

by Russ Breimeier: 'Jodee Lewis and Steve Hendershot comprise The Spares, a Chicago duo that has played the Midwest since 2003. Acoustic guitars, mandolins, and other stringed instruments are at the core of their sound . . . Their debut Hand Me Down draws on the same folk and alt-country sounds popularized by recent sensations like Mindy Smith, Alison Krauss, and eastmountainsouth. The Spares have a particular love for storytelling songs, particularly evident in the epic plainsong feel of "The Ballad of Columbus Bill" and its Old West tale of oaths, family, and mercy. Not to be confused with Billy Joel's classic hit, "Allentown" offers a sweetly written illustration of poverty and God's grace, inspiring the album title. . . . This talented pair draws from a broad songwriting palette that sketches the human condition in the places where faith is needed most.' -

"Best Song -- Country (The Spares'"

The International Academy of Independent Artists named The Spares' song "Mexico" the year's best song at the Golden Kayak Awards in 2006. - 2006 IAIA Golden Kayak Awards

"Roots Music Report CD Review"

Five Star Review for Hand Me Down:

This CD is hands down one of the finest Roots Rock/Americana albums to be released in 2005. The Spares present one of the most unique sounding albums that have come our way. This group is smooth when necessary and down right dirty at times. The vocal performances are more than most artist could dream of delivering. Jodee Lewis can sing so, so well and Steve Hendershot’s vocal is second rate to none.

Radio should run with this one as fast as the airwaves will allow. -

"Cincinnati concert preview"

Whether they're talking about sticking it to the 9-to-5 "Man" ("Mexico") or a family on the brink of breakage ("I Don't Love You Anymore"), The Spares hammer out sweet O' Brother Where Art Thou-esque Americana that is anything but what their name suggests. Wartime snare drums, front-porch mandolin and Jodee Lewis's twisty twang paint a picture of the era and geography that should have yielded this band.

Dig It: Alison Krauss & Union Station, only a bit jaded and dirtier. (HR) - CityBeat (Cincinnati)

"All Ages Zine CD Review"

Four star review for Beautiful and Treacherous Thing:

"The Chicago duo known as the Spares have found a way to combine a whole lot of influences and wrap them up into a modern pop sound and pull this off. You can call them Americana, roots rock, bluegrass, etc… but all in all they bring it on home and created a great sound. The music is simple enough and makes you listen while it holds a pop edge, but the vocals are the shining portion of this album. The female leads will suck you into this record and keep you listening to their sophomore effort. I call this great pop rock with an influence stamped in America's past. Good job. A unique sound on an older influence and well worth a spin if you are looking for something a little different than you get from the mainstream." -

"Harder Beat CD Review"

Five Star review of Beautiful and Treacherous Thing:

The Spares . . . They do an excellent job of mixing elements of country, folk, bluegrass and pop and lacing it all with the sweet, whispy (almost fragile) voice of singer Jodee Lewis. She and partner Steve Hendershot paint a beautiful canvas with mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar and perfect vocal harmonies, making nearly every song catchy and memorable while still standing out from the others.
--Mark Beneventi -

"Smother Magazine CD Review"

Editor's Pick review for Beautiful and Treacherous Thing:

Guitars twang and clang about throughout this immediate and glossy roots rock album by a fitting duo known simply as the Spares. Unlike their name suggests, the group is no substitution for anything, nor are they temporary. The band mixes alt. country twang with gritty roots rock and urbanized Americana for a sound somewhere in heaven between Gram Parsons and Allison Krauss. Jodee Lewis was a chemical engineer before she started the Spares—and that mighty intellect comes out in her daunting lyrics.
-- J-Sin -

"NewCity Chicago concert preview"

Alt-country duo The Spares roll through town this week, an injection of folk and roots rock, based in acoustic guitar and Jodee Lewis' pure vocals (a former chemical engineer, she and partner Steve Hendershot can sure engineer a harmony. That was lame.) "Beautiful and Treacherous Thing," the group's second record after debut "Hand Me Down," is filled with fun, energy-filled and smart folk, twangy and positive, sunshiny and often gorgeous. "Chapel of the Winding Road," anchored by Hendershot's fine finger-picking and the two's gentle voices and harmonies, is the album's best—sad, nostalgic and smooth. The duo plays with additional musicians while on tour, and while that might add some depth to the material, I almost wish it was just Lewis and Hendershot, just the voices and a guitar, simple and aching and hearty.

-- Tom Lynch - NewCity Chicago

"Maverick Country Magazine CD Review"

Review of "Beautiful and Treacherous Thing"

Pleasant and listenable sweet Americana

This is the Chicago-based duo’s second album after 2005’s "Hand Me Down" unleashed their brand of acoustic soulful Americana on the record-buying public.
The tender, delicate vocals of singer Jodee Lewis, immediately draws comparisons with Alison Krauss and the sparse backing adds to the power of her voice. Her co-band member, Steve Hendershot often joins her on backing vocals to create harmonies slightly reminiscent of Gram and Emmylou.
Opening track Waiting For The Smoke To Clear is a lively uptempo number making good use of the mandolin (played here by Jason Reed). While I found my mind wandering slightly during some of the songs, Chapel Of The Winding Road is hauntingly gorgeous and would be great to listen to while sitting by a lake at night in summer. Unpredictable is toe-tappingly catchy and Lewis’ singing is both sassy and sexy. Not Break Just Overflow is slightly moody and sinister, creating an atmospheric piece of music.
There is no doubt that Lewis really can sing and her vocal talents are again showcased on the groove of the penultimate number, Eulogy and the eloquent lullaby, Sing You To Sleep. The Spares have made a highly pleasant and listenable album and it will be interesting to see where they go from here. -- AP

"Americana Album of the Year Nomine"

The Spares' CD "Beautiful and Treacherous Thing" is one of ten finalists (out of more than 42,000 CD screened) for 2009 Americana Album of the Year at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards. - Just Plain Folks Music Awards


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.



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