Carole & Teresa Lundgren, |
with Steve Eulberg,
Random Acts of Fiddling
(Owl Mountain, 1999)
From the first bars of "Bonaparte's Retreat," I was hooked on this CD. It's hard to believe that the principal players here, Carole and Teresa Lundgren, are only teenagers. (According to the liner notes, Carole fell in love with violin music at the age of 4, and I believe it.) The playing is spirited but controlled. The music is principally fiddle but there is good backing with a number of other instruments. The mountain dulcimer on track 1, for instance, is excellent and very well arranged.
On "My Love has Gone to Sea," the slow plaintive fiddle is joined by various sounds, including the ocean. One can almost feel the sense of loss and parting. The girls take us out of the doldrums with the whimsical "Prairie Mountain Rag" and an Irish jig, "Paddy's Leather Breeches." The latter includes bagpipes and bodhran, so you get great musical value for your money. "Maggie Medley" ("Drowsy Maggie" into "Sleeping Maggie") combines an Irish jig and reel.
Not content with this, the Lundgrens transport us to the Ukraine for another spirited medley named after that region. The plucking and playing here is infectious. Jet lag could ensue from this CD as they transport us again. This time we touch down in Scotland for "McPherson's Lament" followed by "Highland Tunes." And, just as we begin to wonder where we can have our passport stamped next, we hear a train. Yes, it's all aboard that "Orange Blossom Special," which leaves the station and picks up speed. You can almost feel the lurch and roll as these talented players bring us the classic of bluegrass.
The CD finishes with an aptly titled "Random Medley." This is whirlwind trip of music from Ireland, Scotland and the U.S. The tunes are varied and all played to perfection. "Danny Boy" has seldom sounded so good and segues seamlessly into "The Devil's Dream." Nearly eight minutes long, this set passes all too quickly. I look forward to much more from this duo.
This is not just a CD for fiddle lovers. If music moves you, buy it. If you want to hear a variety of sounds played with love and affection you need to take part in some Random Acts of Fiddling.