You are hereAlbum Review: The Carrivick Sisters - From the Fields (Self Release)
Album Review: The Carrivick Sisters - From the Fields (Self Release)
South Devon's Carrivick Sisters' fourth album in just about as many years comes with a good deal of anticipation since 2009's JUPITER'S CORNER, the album that earned the twins some much deserved recognition on the bluegrass/old time music scene. Charlotte and Laura have a gentle approach to their music and in the way they promote it, never brash nor over confident, rather quiet and unassuming. They get up there and play and we sit and listen whilst effortlessly marvelling at the sheer dexterity of it all. On this album we need look no further than Charlotte's blistering guitar solo on Today is a Good Day for proof of that dexterity.
FROM THE FIELDS shows their meteoric progress as first rate players in a field that by its nature cannot be faked. You can either play bluegrass or you can't and these players certainly can. With ten self-penned songs and the one instrumental, together with a lone traditional song, Early, Early in the Spring, arranged and edited by the twins, The Carrivick Sisters present their own brand of roots music, which has its own distinctive sound. Alternating between guitar and mandolin, fiddle and dobro, sharing out the lead vocals equally across the songs, often augmented by some fine sibling harmonies, Charlotte and Laura capture a unique blend of American bluegrass and old time mountain music with a certain and unmistakable Englishness, especially with their Devon-inspired original songs.
The songs are written in such a traditional style, that at times it's hard to differentiate between what is traditional and what is contemporary. The themes are mostly rural and involve dangerous liaisons with farmer's sons and hired men and precisely how pear-shaped things can go if the hay cart is placed under the wrong window, to local stories set in the idyllic landscape of Bodmin Moor. Charlotte and Laura also hint at a couple of familiar concerns that affect creative artists and performers these days, with Charlotte's Song of the Night, which reflects upon those particular songs that come to us in the night, only to be forgotten by morning and Laura's notes on some of the more negative aspects of being on the road in If I Had Time, with the gorgeous line 'If I had time I'd meet the minds behind the faces in the places I pass through.' It really can be a life viewed through the window of a speeding car sometimes.
With Joe Rusby behind the desk, Charlotte and Laura are joined by Eleanor Cross on double bass throughout, together with guest appearances by BJ Cole, providing some of his distinctive pedal steel on You'll Miss Her When You're Gone and When the Birds Start to Sing, Matt Crum on melodeon on Flowers With Jamie and not least John Breese and David Kosky on banjo and guitar respectively on the instrumental The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage, a tune named after Charlotte's favourite story from Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm. Still in their early twenties, the twins have demonstrated with this album, something we have known for a while, that the Carrivick Sisters are not only heading in the right direction, but that they may have just reached their destination.