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Askew Review 15

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FIDDLEHAUS- Schwartz’ Backyard (Site) Knowing nothing about the fiddle, I honestly can not comment on the technical mumbo jumbo concerning the music played, but I can comment on how I feel while listening to this CD. Written and composed by Canadian brother/sister duo Shawn and Virginia Schwartz, the music is a vehicle that influences an imaginary journey that only the listener can envision to the sound. With fiddles in hand, Shawn and Virginia mix it up with a plethora of other musicians combining musical styles- Folk, Celtic, Bluegrass- that will please the young and old; a fact I witnessed first hand from my five year old daughter to my elderly next door neighbours. From the festive “Schwartz’ Backyard” and “Payday Jiggers” to the slower “36 Years” and “Waltzing Around the Woodstove,” you’ll find yourself moving to and enjoying the varied pace of the music. If you break out the air fiddle, “Gin & Milk” will have you sweating, while “His Last Words/Hangman’s Reel ”will slowly, and eerily, walk you into some mighty quick fiddling. Although I love the entire CD, “Heidi’s Growl” is the piece that turned me on to this CD and has forever changed how I enjoy the fiddle and the music it can produce. “ Fiddlehaus, the live session,” is the perfect close with its family and friend filled pub atmosphere dancing and clapping (and most likely alcohol drinking) to the toe tapping ( I can’t dance) and pint raisable (new word) sounds that resonates throughout the CD. Schwartz’ Backyard is a true ear opening CD that may open musical doors for its new listeners. Hey, I made it through the entire review without writing about my adult version of a schoolboy crush on Virginia… oh, fiddlesticks!- Denis Sheehan



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