Sierra Noble

Spirit of the Strings

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An adorable baby-faced 14 year old who looks like she should be singing Hilary Duff-style teen pop, Sierra Noble is actually an accomplished traditional fiddler. Noble is a Metis, an aboriginal culture from the Canadian plains, roughly equivalent to the Mestizos of the southwestern United States: a blending of French, English, and Native American cultures. On her second album, the French and English elements predominate: the zippy fiddle and clog-dance showcase "Big Bear" sounds like a meeting of the minds between a group of English contra dancers and Louisiana Cajun musicians. Other songs bring in elements of country, Canadian/American folk music, and other styles, and the album as a whole synthesizes them all into something recognizably unique. Noble is as talented as fiddlers three or four times her age, and her sympathetic backing musicians provide purely traditional settings with no lame crossover influences. A hugely entertaining traditional folk album, Spirit of the Strings is worth a listen for any fiddle fans, even those who have never heard of Metis culture.

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