Take a journey into the unique and entertaining world of The Fiddle Chicks as they transport you through Celtic, Jazz, Gypsy, Blues, Country, Middle Eastern and vibrant originals using just three fiddles and voice and having a lot of fun along the way.
About the artist: An experiment to create a band with just 3 fiddles and voice (shedding the guitars and the guys) has created three inspired and entertaining Fiddle Chicks. They play traditional Celtic, European and American Folk, Blues/Roots and originals, singing harmonies whilst inventing new and interesting fiddle sound scapes with their fiddles, their voices, some digital effects, fiddle percussion, pizzicato, strumming and their own mini stomp. Winners of 2007 and 2008 SA Folk awards for Most Outstanding Group, Best CD release and Most Outstanding Instrumentalist for Emma Luker (Colcannon, Eric Bogle) their sound goes from the exciting to the whimsical.
CD review by Tony Smith
This album of 13 tracks reminds me how lucky I was to hear this group as a trio.
Arts South Australia and Tim Wright Guitars deserve commendation for supporting this recording project so that the Fiddle Chicks’ impressive combination can be appreciated into the future.
Emma Luker, Kim Perry and Dee Trewartha all play the standard fiddle and all provide lead or backing vocals in glorious harmony.
They also indulge in fiddle bass, fiddle mandolin, fiddle accordion, fiddle table, fiddle beats, fiddle drum and wah-wah fiddle.
Half of the tracks are originals, four by Dee and two by Emma.
But there are also some traditional tracks and covers of songs by Kristina Olsen, Soursob Bob and Josh Cunningham and tunes by Anton Seoane and Haugaard/ Hoirup.
Trewartha wrote ‘Cold Mountain’, ‘Heroes’ and ‘Katz’, which provides the title of the album and its theme of breaking out.
For me, her best song is ‘Water to Wine’: ‘I’m lyin’ on the grass on a hot summer’s day/ white cotton clouds gonna carry me away/ I’ve got sugar for my baby in the sweet sunshine/ go on down to the river to turn the water to wine’.
These lyrics encapsulate the fresh air and the outdoors nature of this album.
Other songs include Soursob Bob’s ‘Chocolate Ice Cream’, the restful rhythm of Kristina Olsen’s ‘It All Gets So Peaceful’ and Josh Cunningham’s ‘Lighthouse’.
‘Maid on the Shore’ and ‘Tamlin’ are a traditional song and tune.
The maid tells the story of a young woman seeking revenge for the death of her parents at the hands of some pirates and ‘Tamlin’ is a ‘kick-ass’ traditional Scots tune.
‘What am I doing here?’ and ‘The Rainbow Sarong’ are instrumentals by Luker, who plays with the Eric Bogle Band.
‘Adana Oro’ is a traditional instrumental from Turkey named after the country’s fourth largest city Adana.
The Chicks show that they love the more colourful and joyous side of Morris dancing in ‘The Morris Set’, consisting of the traditional ‘Princess Royal’ and ‘The Cuckoo’s Nest’.
‘Danish Popcorn’ is an interesting choice.
‘A Bruza’ by Seoane and ‘Syren and Hyld’ Haugaard/ Hoirup raise images of women of the heath, heathens and witches.
There is a good humoured tone to the playing on this album.
The Fiddle Chicks display great virtuosity and sing in perfect harmony.
They thank the ‘Other Chicks’ Sonya and Bridget.
Most tracks open with some pizzicato playing which sets up a nice rhythm for each piece.
The approach is fresh and very Australian, perhaps because there is so much aural sunlight in these tracks.