JERRY DOUGLAS – Traveler

Jerry Douglas TravelerWhen you’ve got a little black book loaded with contacts you use them don’t you? And in the case of dobro maestro Jerry Douglas that’s quite some book. Paul Simon, Alison Krauss, Eric Clapton etc they’re all in there and only too pleased to lend a hand on this, his thirteenth solo album. I first became aware of Jerry’s playing in 1987 on Davy Spillane’s “Atlantic Bridge” album and was stunned by the musicality and expression on what I thought at the time was a pretty anodyne instrument. Of course, since then I’ve become an avid fan and Mr Douglas’s collaborations are without doubt some of the most stimulating I have encountered anywhere captured on numerous silver disks. From the opening blues of Huddie Ledbetter’s “On A Monday” it’s pleasing to hear his vocal talents coming to the fore. OK, so he may not be Alfie Boe or Andrea Bocelli but then again I’m sure he’s not trying to be…just happy in the knowledge that he’s able to hold a song for solo projects. If I was to choose a favourite track then I’d go for “Right On Time” where Jerry is joined by vocalist Marc Cohn showing an almost empathic restraint on lap steel guitar. This is the kind of album in which the listener feels proud in the knowledge that they know something the greater public are unaware of and in this respect I mean Jerry has enriched our lives and although not a ‘star’ in the truest sense of the word the world of country and folk music would be a poorer place without him. The accolades for this album will doubtless come thick and fast and personally speaking none more deservedly so.

PETE FYFE

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Artist’s website: www.jerrydouglas.com

THE CARRIVICK SISTERS – FROM THE FIELDS

The Carrivick Sisters are twins Laura and Charlotte Carrivick from South Devon. Both are skilled multi-instrumentalists and between them they play a variety of bluegrass-associated instruments – guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro and fiddle. Though just 21 years old, Laura and Charlotte are already accomplished songwriters, fine individual singers, and they harmonise hauntingly, as often only siblings can, their beguiling voices blending together irresistibly. Although their principle influence is bluegrass, their music also has a strong folk influence, with many of their original songs inspired by their local landscape and stories.

The Carrivick Sisters are experienced performers, having played all over the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. They have released three previous CDs – My Own Two Feet (2006), Better Than 6 Cakes (2007) and Jupiter’s Corner (2009) and have just completed their fourth album, From The Fields.

Produced and recorded by Joe Rusby (brother of Kate) at Pure Records Studio, From the Fields comprises eleven originals; ten songs and one instrumental, and one traditional song ‘Early, Early In The Spring’ and features contributions from guest musicians: John Breese (Banjo), BJ Cole (Pedal Steel), Eleanor Cross (Double Bass), Matt Crum (Melodeon) and David Kosky (Guitar),

The Carrivick Sisters first started performing as a duo in 2006, originally as buskers before starting to play more and more proper gigs, turning professional when they left school in 2007. As well as performing as ‘The Carrivick Sisters’, Laura and Charlotte have also played with a number of other bands – Blue South, Miles Apart, Banjo Accelerator; Kick Up the Grass and currently ‘Andsome and Some.

In 2007 they won the South West Busker’s and Street Entertainer’s Competition, gaining themselves their first spot at Glastonbury Festival. In 2008 Laura achieved 2nd place at the RockyGrass Fiddle Contest in America. More recently, The Carrivick Sisters were finalists in the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2010.

I am very impressed by The Carrivick Sisters, one of the best young duos I’ve heard. 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.” Ralph McTell

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Artist Web link: http://thecarrivicksisters.wordpress.com/

Cheyenne Brown – Parallel Latitudes

Alaskan harpist Cheyenne Brown’s beautifully packaged new album “Parallel Latitudes” is a project which aims to highlight connections between music of her homeland, her adopted home of Scotland and sources further a field.

Jigs, reels and tunes are presented with an eclectic mix of accompanying instruments ranging from dobra to banjo, tabla to bodhran. Traditional airs are given inventive settings and juxtaposed against atmospheric melodies with Cheyenne’s own compositions “Seals at Rhu” and “Ruth’s Recovery” showing that she is a musical force to be reckoned with as well as a harpist of great dexterity.

“Parallel Latitudes” is an accomplished enterprise which showcases not only a highly talented soloist and her band but also the wide ranging capabilities of the traditional harp particularly on the improvisatory title track.

Cheyenne’s harp is supported by Seylan Baxter on cello, Jon Bews on fiddle, Dave Currie on dobro, Dave Boyd on percussion, Jon Bews on fiddle, Hardeep Deerhe on tabla and Anna Massie on banjo. “Parallel Latitudes” has been nominated for the Roots Album of the Year at the Scottish Music Awards.

Janet M. Roe

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Artist Web Link www.cheyenneharp.com