The Carrivick Sisters,
Jupiter's Corner
(independent, 2009)

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 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.

review by
Andrew Morris

15 August 2009

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