Carole Koenig

Huzzah!

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Albums of hammered dulcimer duets are fairly rare, which is a pity -- the instruments have a marvelous ringing tone that makes them sound pretty even in the hands of a mediocre player, and splendid in the hands of a master. Carole Koenig and Karen Williams played together for years before going into the studio, with the result that their partnership on this release is nearly telepathic. Traditional pieces from the British Isles and Appalachia that are normally performed with the fiddle as a lead instrument have a different and interesting sound on hammered dulcimers, one that takes them out of their usual cultural context and allows the listener to reappraise the tunes on their own merits. Though other instruments are present, they are used sparingly, to augment the sound rather than as equal parts in the mix. Huzzah! is a must-have album for a hammered dulcimer fan or student, and a good introduction to the range of the instrument for a casual listener.

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