A few CD reviews
We are starting to get some great reviews for our latest CD Jupiters Corner. Here’s what we’ve got so far.
From Maverick Magazine (www.maverick-country.com)
The Carrivick Sisters
Demonstrating rare instrumental and vocal superiority that puts their colleagues to shame.
This being their third album, English band The Carrivick Sisters have made quite a name for themselves in such a short space of time. Currently on tour in Canada with having played at Glastonbury 2009 and soon to appear at the Didmarton Bluegrass Festival, this is one duo which is going places with more accolade heaped upon them due to the release of their new album.
Consisting of eleven self-penned and one traditional track, the width and breadth of their talent is immeasurable. For a start, Charlotte plays three instruments with Laura expert on four. And, if that wasn’t enough, their fine writing and instrumental abilities are evident on such tracks as Song for the Year. With an Americana/folk beginning on mandolin, it has such a simple sound about it as it sings about the changes in the world around us during the seasons. Not so easy when you think about it, but here this process is executed with such love and sweetness that it makes you listen just that little bit more attentively. Beginning with some serene banjo strumming and fiddling, the albums title track demonstrates what fine instrumentalists the sisters are, and it has to be stated that the said attempts are as fine as I’ve ever heard. The historically provocative Stars, which makes their audience imagine the world when it was a much simpler place, has that observational quality held dear to the hearts of many Maverick readers. It seems that, what with the current trend of overcomplicating tracks by using too many instruments/machines in its mix, all you really need is a couple of voices and just one or two instruments to make a fantastic song; Stars is certainly an example of this and, gosh, what a fine track it is.
With several tours happening all around the UK until the end of the year there is really no excuse not to see this talented pair performing their material which really is some of the best heard by this reviewer for some time. RH
From Rambles.NET (www.rambles.net)
The Carrivick Sisters,
Twin sisters Laura and Charlotte Carrivick have, since a tender age, been immersed in music together. Their style is based in bluegrass but also has a strong English folk influence. This new album, their third, features 11 original tracks and one traditional song. Sensitively mixed by Joe Rusby, it also features guest musicians John Breese on banjo and Jeremy Carrivick on guitar.
The Carravick Sisters’ musical talent is undeniable. They perform their songs on guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dobro and clawhammer banjo. Often artists of such ability focus on pure technical skill to the detriment of soul, but fortunately the sisters have plenty of both.
None other than Ralph McTell said of them, “The girls sing and play as one and their work is characterised by great musicality. They are not only very talented instrumentalists and singers but they write really good songs as well.”
The old-time song “Darlin’ Corey” kicks of the album; it’s one of the best versions I have heard of this, and I’ve heard most of them. The vocals on the album are shared between the sisters, with them taking turns with lead and harmony. The vocal harmonies are strangely beguiling, perhaps because they are twins.
“Stars” and “Song for the Year” are deceptively simple songs with a warmth all of their own. The latter track is an uplifting ode to the seasons. “The William & Emma” and “The Herzogin Cecile” recount true stories of shipwrecks from the sisters hometown of Salcombe.
“The Sticky Bread Set” includes two original toe-tapping instrumentals tied in with the old Scottish tune “Darked Haired Youth.” One part of the set titled “Sticky Bread Made a Black Hole in My Kitchen” must share best song title with Clive Batkin and Joel McDermott’s “Don’t Touch My Pig.”
The sisters’ love of their natural surroundings is evident in “Only Hills” and is tinged with a nostalgic melancholy in the beautiful “The Old Apple Tree.” “All the Times” is a very personal song, as is “Slip Away” in a totally different way. The obligatory train song “Waiting for a Train” is a cracking bluegrass number as is the final tune, “Jupiter’s Corner,” which is an upbeat instrumental.
Jupiters’s Corner is an album littered with enticing tunes and songs from the heart, a must for all bluegrass and English folk lovers. Simply put, this is the best new album I’ve heard for a long while.
From FAME (www.acousticmusic.com)
Ralph McTell isn’t very well known on these shores but in England he’s revered as a saint of the United Kingdom folk movement. The guy released a number of LPs, and his songs have been fairly well covered by others. Thus, when he recommends someone, it only stands to reason we’re talking about exceptional achievement in the genre. Well, he’s speaking up for the Carrivick twins and has plenty of reason to.
Charlotte and Laura Carrivick are musical prodigies, playing almost everything on this CD: guitar, mandolin, clawhammer banjo, dobro, cello, and fiddle as well as covering the vocals. Only two cuts usher in a guest artist, yet each track sounds like a spontaneous and long-rehearsed ensemble of top drawer players, so well do the two know precisely what they want to say in each song. Every number is quite traditional, though only two compositions are actually taken from the olden catalogue, the rest written by one or both of the sisters.
The air here is at one with what Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Fotheringay, and other Brit folk-madrigal groups were doing in more fidelitous genre moments, and the girls have even opened for such acts as Curved Air, the legendary progrock band. Later this year, they’ll be touring with Eliza Carthy, Martin Simpson, and McTell himself, yet here’s what’s really intriguing: both are deeply in love with American bluegrass, their true root of inspiration though it sounds otherwise due to the riveting fusion of the two cultures. We’ve seen this before in rock and blues, and the result of such trans-Atlantic exchanges has always been extremely profitable.
That’s the case here. Your ears will deceive you, and you’ll swear you’ve heard the songs previously, but you haven’t. Then you’ll quickly warm to the common ground in their nuanced flawless playing. Next, you’ll be sitting enraptured, floating in a pool of balmily familiar waters just like the koi fish in the very cool cover painting provided by…have you guessed it?…yep, the Carrivick Sisters. Is there anything these young ladies can’t do? From Folk Roundabout (written by David Kidman)
From Folk Roundabout (written by David Kidman)
JUPITER’S CORNER – The Carrivick Sisters (Own label, no catalogue number)
The Carrivick Sisters are twins Laura and Charlotte Carrivick, who first performed as a duo in 2006 and turned professional when they left school in 2007. They hail from South Devon, and play a rather special and personal brand of bluegrass with a strong folk influence; they write virtually all their own material, drawing inspiration from their local landscape, stories and heritage. Jupiter’s Corner, which turns out to be their third CD, was in fact released a whole year ago, but for some reason it’s taken its time to percolate to this neck of the woods and with an impending gig at York’s Black Swan Folk Club (July 15th) now’s the time to give them some overdue coverage in these pages. And if this excellent CD is anything to go by, the Carrivick Sisters sure have a great deal to offer the lover of contemporary bluegrass and folk. Their expertise and togetherness is astounding, and their unassuming virtuosity on a large number of instruments undeniably impressive – and yet you never ever feel they’re showing off (nor do they need to!). Not only do Charlotte and Laura equitably share the lead and harmony vocal roles (with five songs each on this CD), they also swop that instrumental dexterity around like nobody’s business, Laura’s prowess on dobro and fiddle especially being most impressive in its sensitivity to line and texture, and they’re unafraid to vary the standard instrumental complement to incorporate cello or banjo, say, while any inevitable enthusiastic rough-edges or intonation lapses are disarmingly left in the mix for our pleasure too. The sisters’ musical skills are one thing, and would be cause for celebration on their own terms, but what really sets the seal on their musical presence is the sheer quality of their writing. Here we get a series of quite magical contemporary songs that cover all the potential ground uncannily well, from the beautifully simple, nay Carteresque Song For The Year to the contemplative Stars and Slip Away, the historical narrative ballad of The William And Emma, which recounts a local lifeboat disaster to the tearfully delicate, daringly introspective All The Times That I’m Not There – all these being standouts within a consistently fine set of songs. You can just taste the timeless nostalgia of The Old Apple Tree (there’s another song just crying out to be covered by someone like Alison Krauss!), while the sprightly uptempo Waiting For A Train turns out to be far superior to the hoary makeweight train song you’d find on almost any ol’ bluegrass CD. There’s also a brace of instrumentals, which show structural ingenuity in tandem with the exhilarating playing on display. The Carrivick Sisters are having fun, but are serious in their intent, and their naturally assertive musicality never gets in the way of communicating their unique musical vision. They’re something pretty special, I say.
The Carrivick Sisters “Jupiter’s Corner”
Label: Eigenverlag; 2009
Die beiden Zwillinge Charlotte (Gesang, Gitarre, Mandoline, Banjo) und Laura (Gesang, Fiddle, Dobro, Cello, Gitarre) Carrivick haben 2006 gemeinsam als Strassenmusiker begonnen. Drei Jahre später haben sie bereits ihr drittes Album „Jupiter’s Corner“ mit neun eigenen, einem traditionellen Song sowie zwei Instrumentalstücken produziert. Begleitet wurden sie bei den Aufnahmen im Heim der Carrivicks im Süden der Grafschaft Devon von John Breese (Banjo, Bass) und Jeremy Carrivick (Gitarre).
Das Album beginnt mit meinem Lieblingssong, dem traditionellen Bluegrass „Darling Corey“. Charlotte begleitet ihren großartigen Gesang auf der Gitarre, während Laura das Dobro und den Begleitgesang erklingen lässt; Devon goes Bluegrass. Beide haben eine gut ausgebildete volle Gesangsstimme und beherrschen ihre Instrumente hervorragend. Laura hat die wunderschöne Ballade „Stars“ geschrieben, bei der sie Fiddle und Cello spielt. Weiter geht’s mit dem schönen Countrysong „Only Hills“ (Charlotte), der traurigen Ballade „The William and Emma“ (Laura) und dem fröhlichen Walzer „Song for the Year“ (Laura). Am besten klingen die beiden jedoch wenn sie rhythmischen Bluegrass spielen. Bei „The Herzogin Cecile“ (Charlotte) brilliert die Sängerin mit ihrem Clawhammer Banjo und wird von Laura am Cello begleitet, während beim „The sticky Bread Set“ das Zusammenspiel von Mandoline und Fiddle überzeugt. Ein romantischer Love Song von Charlotte (All the Times), das vom Klang der Fiddle und Lauras Stimme dominierte „The old Apple Tree“ und das melancholische Schlaflied „Slip away“ (Charlotte) ergänzen das abwechslungsreiche Programm. Ein weiterer Höhepunkt ist das rasante „Waiting for a Train“, bei dem Breese das Banjo und den Bass spielt; Fiddle, Mandoline und Lauras Gesang setzen dem rhythmischen Feuerwerk noch das Sahnehäubchen auf. Zum Abschluss gibt es das instrumentale Titelstück mit Jeremy an der Gitarre, Charlotte am Banjo und Laura an der Fiddle; bei diesem Rhythmus bleibt keiner still sitzen.
Mich haben die Geschwister mit ihren erstklassigen Songs und Tunes begeistert, Americana at it’s best und das von den britischen Inseln. Lasst euch das nicht entgehen!