–By Marie Taylor
–Photos by Ryan Ledesma
Texas fiddle charmed its way into hearts at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room on September 27th when The Quebe Sisters took center stage.
As part of my goal to infiltrate smaller and more unique music genres in the city, I decided that Texas fiddle was next on my list to see what the hype was about. This adventure took me into the basement at Blueberry Hill, where ducks, plaid, and old school country music all joined together to create a memorable evening.
The Quebe Sisters (“Quebe” is pronounced like “maybe”, so you can quit giggling) are a trio of young, fiddle-playing singers who specialize in classic country and Americana music. Sophia, Grace, and Hulda are renowned for their fiddle playing skills and harmonic singing abilities, and have even performed with the likes of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and George Strait.
To my untrained ears, the night was heavy on the old school country ballads, with a few of the sisters’ own songs thrown in for good measure. Not knowing exactly what “Texas Fiddle Music” meant, I was a little unprepared for the night of classic country that awaited me.
My first thought after listening to ladies warm up the crowd was that the Andrew Sisters had come back to life and were now singing in Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room. The way that each woman sung would be more recognizable in female country singers from the ‘50s and ‘60s than singers from today. The intonation and inflection in each song were performed with a nod to an earlier era, which completely transfixed me during their performance.
The sisters focused on classic country love songs, many of which I’d never heard before. (I grew up in Detroit, so sue me.) One of the songs I did recognize was “Wayfaring Stranger”, which was skillfully covered by Grace Quebe. While I could not tell you the difference between Merle Haggard and George Jones, the people sitting beside me at the show sure could, and there was plenty of applause for The Quebe Sisters every time they finished a song.
Luckily I didn’t even need to recognize the songs to enjoy the evening, as the control and amazing harmony that these singers displayed kept my attention. My photographer, who normally would high-tail it out of any venue with old school country music, stayed the entire concert just to hear them sing. Not to obsess over their vocal accomplishments too much, the sisters also played their fiddles with skill and enthusiasm.
The evening was very enjoyable, and I could probably listen to The Quebe Sisters sing the phone book. The Duck Room was the perfect venue for them to take center stage and show off their harmony, and it even had the perfect vintage vibe to complement the older music and intimate atmosphere of the night.
Despite their enthusiasm and obvious skill, The Quebe Sisters could not completely convert me to the old school country lifestyle. They had fans-a-plenty in the Duck Room, so I don’t feel so bad about it. I would love to see them cover a modern pop song and turn some old school charm on it. I think a young audience is ready to hear this type of music, but the sisters may need to meet many of us half way.
If you’re into classic country music or are simply looking for something new and unique to witness in your town, check out The Quebe Sisters as they tour across the United States. You may not become a fan of the older music, but I guarantee you’ll become a fan of the group.