Katie & Liz Davis are sisters (hence the same last name.) Once upon a time, Katie was born with a fiddle in her hands, which proved less difficult than when Liz was born exactly two years later with a cello in hers. In the early nineties, the girls’ mom Kira, a folk harpist, let them gig with her at Bar Mitzvahs and Renaissance Festivals in Maryland. What started out as a casual family hobby eventually grew up, moved to Utah, and named itself FiddleSticks.
Lately, Katie and Liz have expanded their musical vocabulary to include more Old-time, Bluegrass, and Jazz influences, while still staying true to their Celtic roots.
The music on Ampersand is all original — most of the tunes are new compositions by Katie and Liz. Like Lennon and McCartney, they wrote and arranged all the music together, and then played it, with the benefit of double and triple tracking in the studio. So Katie plays two or more fiddle tracks on the tunes, and sings, and adds viola on some tunes as well. Liz does the same audio sleight of hand with cello, sometimes playing a percussive pizzicato track, and then adding one or more melodic tracks on top. And she also plays the guitar on a couple of tracks.
This album’s subtitled Katie & Liz Davis because this really is their joint project, rather than being a typical FiddleSticks album. The rest of the band’s still here, but in backup: Becca with vocals and Marco on bodhran. The album also features guest artists Cat Larsen on piano/guitar, Rob Honey on bass, and the trendy and fashionable Jake Armerding on mandolin and back-up (listen to his lilting voice on Little Maggie).
Ampersand. Sisters Liz Davis on cello and Katie Davis on fiddle play innovative and eclectic Fiddle-Cello tunes with Celtic Roots and Old-time, Bluegrass, and Jazz branches. www.fiddle-sticks.com.