Qristina & Quinn Bachand,
(independent, 2011)

Over the years Canada has given us some wonderful Celtic music, and some of its best has come from siblings performing together. Brother and sister Qristina and Quinn Bachand from Victoria, British Columbia, carry on that tradition very well. Their second CD, Family, is a delightful collection of guitar and fiddle-based music, which also includes a few guests.

Qristina at age 20 is a wonderful fiddle player, She has a very pleasing style that is a combination of edgy and passionate, and some of the most enjoyable fiddle playing that I have heard recently. Quinn is an excellent guitarist who at age 15 has already earned praises from many fellow Canadian musicians, including Ashley MacIsaac. They are obviously influenced by many of Cape Breton's great fiddle players, some of whose tunes they perform on this CD.

The majority of the tunes on Family are traditional instrumental songs that range from familiar ones like "Toss the Feathers" to ones that are less familiar. I particularly liked the nice mix of jigs, reels and a few slow pieces on this CD. "Smile or Cry" is a beautiful song that also features Qristina on vocals. "Lonesome Eyes" is a beautiful song written by a renowned Cape Breton fiddler, the late Jerry Holland. "Loch Mountain/Yellow Tinker/The Girl Who Broke My Heart" is a wonderful, very nicely arranged set of Irish jigs. The CD closes with its only non-Celtic song, "Red Rocking Chair," a fun track that they play as a tribute to their grandfather. It also features Qristina's vocals.

Family is one of those rare CDs that you can listen to without wanting to skip over any of the songs; it features a very pleasing combination of great musicianship and an excellent selection of nicely arranged selections. The Bachands have a talent for giving old songs a nice fresh sound. Qristina and Quinn have been nominated for several Canadian folk awards and have received an Irish music award. Anyone who likes traditional Irish music with thoroughly enjoy this CD.

music review by
Dave Townsend

5 November 2011

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