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Q&Q Music  QQ1002

Every once a while a CD comes in that completely takes you by surprise.  This second release from brother and sister duo from Victoria BC was one of them.  

Qristina is a gutsy, fiery fiddle player, who injects real life into her playing of what are in the main fairly well known and frequently heard traditional Irish tunes.  And while her attacking style really suits the jigs and reels, she has an equally light and subtle touch when it comes to slower material.

Quinn is nothing short of amazing.  Close your eyes and listen to his up-tempo, inventive, modern guitar playing and you would swear it was John Doyle (who I always thought was in a league of his own – apparently not!)  High praise indeed, especially when you realise Quinn is only 15 years old, and also plays several other instruments!

Qristina gives us a couple of songs here too.  She has a delicate, sweet voice, the addition of which gives the CD a nice balance.  I think she could have chosen stronger songs that suited the feel of this album better, but that is a minor criticism.

From the opening track, where they cleverly morph from jig to reel time in the middle of the tune, to the closing old-timey Red Rocking Chair, this is 48 minutes of nigh on perfection.  A highlight for me is their handling of two slower tunes: the Irish air Inisheer, and Jerry Holland’s Lonesome Eyes.  Both are treated exactly as they should be, and are allowed to shine on their own, without any overly flashy arrangements or appended up-beat tunes.

Qristina and Quinn are already making a name for themselves on the international stage, and are being nominated for and winning awards all over the place.  On the evidence of this CD, I am sure we will see a lot more of them.

This CD surprised me.  I like surprises!

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 90 of The Living Tradition magazine.