With their virtuoso blend of musicianship and strong vocal harmonies, the sibling duo The Carrivick Sisters turn the grandeur of Lichfield’s Guildhall in to a Bluegrass club.
Twins Laura (dobro, violin and guitar) and Charlotte (banjo, guitar and mandolin) play a selection of music from their five album career, with the lion’s share of it coming from their most recent release Over the Edge. Acclaimed by a number of famous musicians and the music press the sisters are still only in their early twenties, and yet much of their music had a sound that sounded both modern and traditional.
Their sound ranges from plaintive, country and western to dazzling instrumentals that show off their dexterity. Their vocal blend has something of The Everly Brothers with the emotional ache of Emmylou Harris, whilst their versions of songs by James Taylor, Gillian Welch, and a number of traditional sources take their bare structure and added new flesh to the old bones.
Most of their music is self-penned, and looked at subjects from love and friendship, to war and about songs that escape before they are written down.
The first set includes the clever instrumental ‘Making Horses’ with its changes in time signature, whilst ‘Over the Edge’ is a political song protesting against change. Two songs by Gillian Welch are haunting treatments, the highlight of which is ‘Annabel’, whilst Laura shows her prowess on dobro during ‘Song of the Night’. The traditional ‘Pretty Fair Damsel’ is a fine fit for the duo’s vocal skills, whilst set closer was the twisted love song ‘Dear Someone’.
The second half of the show is started with a fine dobro enhanced ‘Darling Corey’ whilst the jokey song ‘If you asked me’ looks at the unreasonable requests that exist within many love songs. ‘Lady Howard’ is another reading that is full of brooding atmospherics and murderous intent, whilst some light relief is provided by James Taylor’s ‘Sweet Baby James’. ‘Wargames’ is a mature reflection on war, and how boys play with guns, and the old time song ‘Lazy Joe’ was a fine showcase for the mandolin talents of Charlotte.
Tonight was a fine concert, delivered by two talented musicians who have already given much, and have much more to give.