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AAA Music | 28 May 2017

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THE CARRIVICK SISTERS – Over The Edge

| On 01, Sep 2013

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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 Competition, Rocky 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!

Heather Ryall