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‘Over the Edge’ Album Reviews

July 30, 2013

Over the Edge – The Carrivick Sisters

Release date: 7th October 2013


We will continue to add all new reviews to this post so check back for more!


From Pennyblack Music

The Carrivick Sisters: Over the Edge

(September 2, 2013)

It is rare that artists that stay firmly and so obviously within one genre actually appeal to those who wouldn’t necessarily appreciate music of the type that they produce. The Carrivick Sisters grew up in South Devon, and ‘Over the Edge’ is their fifth album to date, confirming that not only are the siblings one of the best bluegrass/folk acts around but that they have the ability to appeal to a much wider audience than just bluegrass devotees.

Much of this is due to their exceptional vocals. Charlotte and Laura both have that unique English pureness to their vocals. When they sing separately you sit spellbound by the purity in their voices, but when they blend their voices together that all too rare magic happens and the effect is quite breathtaking.

The sisters started performing together in 2006, originally busking that led them to proper gigs. In 2007, the year they left school and turned professional, the sisters won the South West Buskers and Street Entertainers Competition, which gained them their first gig at the Glastonbury Festival. Since then they have won more awards, released four albums and toured extensively. The sisters are currently touring the UK until the end of November, while December sees them playing some gigs across Europe.

Over the course of those four albums and their tours, the girls have honed their music which in some ways comes of age on this latest batch of songs. Playing the album never fails to get the attention of those around you that would normally give this bluegrass/folk hybrid a wide berth. It is not only those remarkable vocals; Charlotte plays mandolin and banjo as well as guitar while Laura adds fiddle and dobro to her guitar playing, and the full sound they produce is addictive alone, even shorn of those impeccable vocals.

There are two instrumentals on ‘Over the Edge’ both composed by Charlotte (All the songs on this album except for the traditional ‘Pretty Fair Damsel’ are originals). The first of these, ‘Making Horses’, is one of those pieces you simply can sit still to. The combination of Charlotte’s guitar and Laura’s fiddle is almost as absorbing as the sound of their voices together on the vocal tracks. The second instrumental, ‘Slap On Eleven’, started out as a clapping game at a festival, Charlotte completed the tune when she arrived home that evening and, as a neat touch, diagrams displaying how to join in with the game are included in the CD booklet. It’s an unusual and welcome addition to the booklet that, along with the album cover is beautifully illustrated; Charlotte, who found inspiration in a painting by Rex Whistler and adapted Whistler’s vision to fit the songs on ‘Over the Edge’, painted the cover image. Just another indication of the talents of the Carrivick Sisters.

‘Over the Edge’ (produced by Joe Rusby at Pure Records Studio which is further evidence that this is an album to be treasured) is one of those albums that is impossible to pick out favourites from. Each and every song from the banjo-led title track, where the tale of working men making a stand for the land they’ve worked suits the sister’s vocals perfectly through the more jaunty sing-alongs like ‘If You Asked Me’ to the sadness displayed in ‘The Moon’ (which are just the first three songs on the album) the girls touch all emotions. As each song unfolds, it feels like you are hearing these graceful, perfect vocals for the first time. A problem with some albums of this genre is that one song can easily merge into the next, and there is little to distinguish one song from another. The exact opposite is true of ‘Over the Edge’. The Carrivick Sisters are so proficient on their chosen instruments they never fail to impress. There really is something new coming through with every listen to the album. And then there’s those voices…

‘Over The Edge’ is a faultless album from two incredibly talented musicians. Five albums and numerous gigs down the road, and they still sound like they only discovered this music this very morning and can’t wait to share it with the world, as such is the enthusiasm that pours out of every song. ‘Over the Edge’ is one of the most addictive albums of the year so far.

Reviewer: Malcolm Carter

Pennyblack Music original post:


From AmericanaUK


(September 2, 2013)

  • Devonshire twins continue to dazzle

The young identical twin Carrivick Sisters are seemingly on a stratospheric rise through the roots music world, and justifiably so.  Now five albums into their career which began the moment they left school.  Charlotte and Laura may only have been performing for seven years, but their mantelpieces are already straining under the weight of numerous awards for their staggering playing ability, plus there’s a growing mass of fans gained from a number of performances at Glastonbury and also Radio 4.

The sister’s oeuvre is rooted in Bluegrass and country, but with a unique English twist.  Stunningly exemplary musicians (Charlotte’s guitar work on the instrumental ‘Making Horses’ is divine, while Laura’s dexterous fiddle throughout is a joy). The twins share lead vocals and play all the instruments here (guitar, banjo, violin, mandolin and dobro) save for Bass, and the appearance of the occasional guest, and it’s their incredible, gorgeous close harmony that lends these songs such soul, purpose and gravitas.

The sound is sparse and soulful, with the sister’s elegant close harmony luxuriously placed throughout the acoustic, often old-timey backdrop.  The key this time around though is that the songwriting craft has been ratcheted up yet another notch so that not only are they startlingly good interpreters of song, but their originals are intelligent, poetic, sensitive and deeply impressive, such as on Charlotte’s ‘Man in the Corner’, while her ‘I Know You’ is a swooningly beautiful country love ballad.  Elsewhere trad English folk gets an airing on ‘Lady Howard’, ‘Pretty Fair Damsel’ and excellently poised protest of the opening title track..

Despite its moments of darkness and flashes of despair, ‘Over The Edge’ is a sonic pillow of utterly gorgeous, staggering playing, singing and writing. The Carrivick Sisters display their numerous and genuine talents in spades on this wonderful set, and their songwriting skills are maturing into something really very special.  The world is now theirs.

Reviewer: Ian Fildes

AmericanaUK original post:


From AAA Music

THE CARRIVICK SISTERS – Over the Edge Self Released – 4/5

(September 1, 2013)

The Carrivick Sisters, bluegrass/folk duo release their fifth album, Over The Edge, in just over a month after touring for three months in the UK. It is an uplifting album of songs about life – all bar one composed by the twin sisters. Traveling, salamanders, people, love, history, music and dogs – it is bursting at the seams with tales of old and new and conjures up an image of an intricately woven tapestry or a patchwork quilt, full of colour and expression (a bit like the detailed album cover!). The purity with which the songs are played and sung makes for a very mature album. There is no sense of naivety or uncertainty – in fact it has so much direction it is hard to believe that Charlotte and Laura are indeed as young as they are!

Old-time banjo playing on ‘If You Asked Me’ with offbeat comping on guitar, crunchy vocal harmonies, and a vintage percussion section featuring a tea chest will get you dancing whilst the waltzing, lazy blues guitar and lucid, pretty vocal lines of ‘The Moon’ or ‘Bird’, with lilting double stopping and ornamented melodies on fiddle will send you off day dreaming.

The album has great contrast in it; from upbeat numbers such as ‘Making Horses’ to slower, pensive tracks like ‘Outside Time’. The two Carrivick women themselves are at once fun and charming and serious, deep thinkers; reflected in their compositions through subject matter and musical style. As musicians they are highly regarded – having won many awards and competitions between them such as South West Buskers and Street Entertainers CompetitionRocky Grass Fiddle Contest in America (Laura), first place in Old-time banjo and fiddle at FOAOTMAD’s festival in Gainsborough (Charlotte) and have appeared on BBC’s Woman’s Hour. Their musicianship makes this album exciting and zesty – with flawless technique on their respective instruments they are able to do what the music requires of them – fast, slow, lyrical, cheeky, thoughtful, and above all they are inventive! Drawing on traditional music styles – bluegrass and English folk, the duo have made an album reflective of our time, but with musical ideas centuries old.

Recorded and produced by Joe Rusby and with the odd extra musician thrown in for good measure ( John Breese on double bass throughout, Blair Dunlop, BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award winner appears on harmony vocals in ‘The Moon’ and ‘Bird’, Josh Clark on percussion in ‘If You Asked Me’ and Angus Lyon of Blazin’ Fiddles in ‘Salamander’), Over The Edge is a fun and exciting compilation of songs and tunes composed by two very talented young women!

★★★★Reviewer: Heather Ryall

AAA Music original post:


From Acoustic Magazine


(Issue no. 83)

The prodigiously talented Carrivick Sisters emerged from Devon’s deepest South Hams seven years back, selling a cute mix of teenage enthusiasm and old timey zeal which was both startling and unexpected; Kingsbridge is hardly bluegrass city. Four albums in they’ve again enlisted the support of Joe Rusby in the producer’s chair, but with only one traditional song in the mix, it’s their own material that holds sway. Highlights include ‘Over the Edge’, a salutary tale of insurrection in Newquay, the girls’ delicate harmonies hanging suspended over Charlotte’s edgy clawhammer banjo, the rambunctious breakneck ‘If You Asked Me’, and the instrumental ‘Making Horses’. It’s faultlessly played and sung, but so squeaky clean that it’ll either melt your heart or find yourself longing for just a little bit of dirt.
Reviewer: Julian Piper

Acoustic Magazine:



(Self Released)
7th October.
SOUNDS LIKE? Strangely familiar. Folk, country, pop, bluegrass and plain old oral story telling have always and continue to influence, infect and inform the wider world called ‘Music’.So, just by being an appalling smart arse with some Steeleye Span, Broken Family Band and Jethro Tull records I can tell you that ‘’Over The Edge’’ has nothing to frighten you away, nothing much to furrow your brow and plenty to please. So, ‘’Over The Edge ‘’ sounds like an act that’s technically excellent, comfortable rolling around and over it’s chosen genres and, despite choosing country, folk, etc, ends up feeling like Joni Mitchell fronting the material that Mick n Keef would have passed for ‘’Sticky Fingers’’.
IS IT ANY GOOD? Yes, of course. technically tight, convincingly sincere and you wouldn’t throw a strop to have it removed from a playlist, but… I do kind of have all of this already?
WHERE IS IT? original post:


From Three Chords and the Truth UK

The Carrivick Sisters – Over the Edge Self Released

(August 15, 2013)

OVER THE EDGE by Devon sibling duo The Carrivick Sisters is an unblemished release that will appeal to both traditional folk fans and those who like their music flavoured with a sprinkling of Appalachia Americana. There could not have been a more appropriately named location for its recording at Pure Records Studio as this is  likely to be an aesthetically pleasing record as you’re likely to hear all year. The delectable musicianship melts into the crystal vocals which see both Laura and Charlotte in harmony as well as sharing lead.The stories and tales around this collection of twelve songs have become a central feature of their live shows over the past year so it is good to finally get them attached to a recording to aid their further enjoyment. Having first coming across the duo at the Moseley Folk Festival a couple of years ago, their prodigious talent is now beginning to blossom and this new record, their 5th release, is unrivalled in their back catalogue.Charlotte tends to focus more on the guitar input as well as adding the banjo and mandolin touch while Laura majors on the fiddle with a switch to Dobro on a couple of tracks. The bass of John Breeze backs all tracks while piano, electric guitar and percussion making fleeting appearances. As well as appearing live with the sisters, rising folk star Blair Dunlop adds harmony vocals to a pair of songs including the excellent ballad ‘The Moon’, which forms part of an inspiring album opening.High standards are set right from the off when the girls put to song a true tale of an ultimately futile protest against the building of the Headland Hotel in Newquay back in the 1890s. The top quality song writing in this cleverly titled number ‘Over the Edge’ is a recurring theme throughout the album which sees the sisters, either solo or in tandem, pen the lyrics to nine of the twelve tracks as well as composing the two instrumentals ‘Making Horses’ and ‘Slap on Eleven’. The sole traditional offering is ‘Pretty Fair Damsel’, their take on an old American song.Like all good song writing albums should have, a lyric sheet accompanies the CD and the press release includes a very informative song-by-song background analysis from the girls which enhances the listening experience and may have even have found a useful home within the package itself. The appreciation of the Carrivick Sisters extends from the vocals, music and lyrics to the background and influence of their craft as well as the evolving live experience which continues to develop progressively.As far as the stand out track is concerned, the superb ‘Outside Time/Salamander’ makes a strong case with a vibrant fiddle piece tagged onto the end but is shaded by the enchanting ‘If You Asked Me’ which features early in the album. This wonderfully constructed up tempo song deals with the realistic side of love and its sound and style is very reminiscent of The Good Lovelies in full flow.

Although the Carrivick Sisters are regularly active on the live circuit, their planned shows will no doubt feature this October 7th release up to the end of that month and no doubt beyond  OVER THE EDGE has the quality to reach out to a wide audience and highlight why the Carrivick Sisters are great ambassadors for roots music originating from both sides of the Atlantic.

Reviewer: David

Three Chords and the Truth UK original post:


From FolkWords

‘Over the Edge’ – new album from the Carrivick Sisters

(July 25, 2013)

One of the perks of this job is you get to hear good music ahead of everyone else. Then you can spend however long before the release date telling anyone that will listen just how good it is.‘Over the Edge’ the new album from the Carrivick Sisters, released on 7th October 2013, offers you nine originals and one traditional song plus two original instrumentals … and I’m going to spend the next few months telling anyone that will listen just how good it really is.

First, you tune in to the absolute symbiosis between their voices, not totally surprising as they are siblings. Next you hear their flawless skills with their chosen instruments – Charlotte: guitar, mandolin, banjo and Laura: fiddle, Dobro, guitar.  And finally, you’re carried away on the subtle interweaving of influences from folk and bluegrass to create a sound that is lush, graceful and elegant.

There are outstanding songs on ‘Over the Edge’ – some tell tales, some set scenes, each one a measured musical portrait. The title track delivers a hard message through a spritely melody. The softly poignant ‘I Know You’ comes complete with an eloquent guitar. There’s so much to enjoy on this album but I have to confess I immediately fell under the spell of ‘Man in the Corner’ – a sensitive song that conveys tangible sadness through its meditative melody, and ‘Old Friend’ – filled with the simple empathy that exists between true companions.

Also playing on ‘Over the Edge’ are John Breese (double bass) Josh Clark (percussion) Blair Dunlop (harmony vocals on ‘Bird’) Angus Lyon (piano on‘Outside Time/Salamander’) and Tom Sweeney (electric guitar ‘I Know You’).

Reviewer: Dan Holland
FolkWords original post:

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