The Quebe Sisters – The Quebe Sisters (independent, 2019)
The first definition for the word “swing” that appears in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is as follows:
1a : to cause to move vigorously through a wide arc or circle
b : to cause to sway to and fro
c(1) : to cause to turn on an axis
(2) : to cause to face or move in another direction
As luck would have it that is the exact effect that the Dallas-based Texas swing band The Quebe Sisters have on the body on their fourth recording The Quebe Sisters. So be prepared to dip, sway, twirl and Texas Tommy across the floor. Western swing devotees will certainly have acquaintance with The Quebe Sisters so newbies will have to play a little catch-up with recordings such as Timeless, Every Which-A-Way and Texas Fiddlers.
Rather than remaking Western swing, vocalists and fiddlers Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe, along with guitarist Simon Stipp and upright bassist Daniel Parr put their own stamp on the genre on this sweetly sassy, smartly sharp recording.
The Quebe sisters define the process by saying, “It was a holistic process, involving every in the band. We’ve never arranged and recorded so collaboratively before, so it’s very rewarding to hear everyone’s musical fingerprint in the final sound.”
With a trio of songs penned by Sophia Quebe and Daniel Parr, individual solos and tight, neat arranging, The Quebe Sisters swing in the best sense of the word. Recording together in the studio space at Austin’s Texas Treefort Studio, as well as using some vintage equipment, The Quebe Sisters has a cozy nostalgic feel that firmly steers clear of overpowering the collaborative skills of the group’s members or coming across as simply a trite copycat recording,
The Quebe Sisters state, “This album came from the curation of our inspirations. We looked at all the styles that we play, and found a single performance that embodied the essence of everything we loved about that style. Then we dug into the mood and feel of those performances, and used them as reference point for how we played the album.”
From the opening strains of “Always Seem to Get Things Wrong,” western swing will be hooked by just the utter catchy coolness of guitar, fiddle and double bass and fall head over heels over the twangy goodness of the vocals on The Quebe Sisters.
Fans get treated to “My Love, My Life, My Friend,” the sweet sisters vocals of “Pierce the Blue,” the brightly chugging instrumental “Load at 7 (Leave at 8)” and a downright dulcet version of Willie Nelson’s “Summer of Roses.”
The bright and shiny tracks of “Lonesome Road” and “Lullaby of Leaves” are real standouts for the unexpected turns of mood and phrasing that speaks to the musical mastery of these musicians. Fans won’t want to miss out on “The Waltz You Saved for Me,” the instrumental “Bluegrass in the Backwoods” or closing track “Twilight on the Trail.”
The Quebe Sisters will indeed cause one to move vigorously through a wide arc or circle, definitely cause some swaying to and fro and absolutely cause one to turn on an axis and we are all the better for it.
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