The Carrivick Sisters
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The Carrivick Sisters

Bath, England, United Kingdom

Bath, England, United Kingdom
Band Folk Bluegrass


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"CD Review - Rock n Reel"

Despite only being in their early twenties, British bluegrassers The Carrivick Sisters have already released three albums but it’s on this, their fourth, that they truly come of age. Comparisons to Alison Krauss & Union Station would not be out of place, for they are that good, swapping lead vocals and playing Dobro, mandolin and the rest like hardened veterans, but it’s the English folk influences they bring to their music that give them a unique sound.

‘Song Of The Night’ is the perfect blend of English folk and American instrumentation, while the murder ballad ‘Charlotte Dymond’, the heartbreaking ‘Flowers with Jamie’ and the folk instrumental ‘The mouse, The Bird And The Sausage’ (named after a favourite Brothers Grimm tale) are all from the top drawer. Their harmonies (showcased on the a cappella ‘ From The Fields’) are impeccable, the Dobro luscious and the fiddle by turns furious and folky.

There’s a sweet, rich warmth to the music that you can luxuriate in but it’s never cloying or overwhelming, and despite the darkness of some of the material, the overriding feel is of vibrant optimism, and so it should be with music of this calibre.
- Rock n Reel

"From the Fields CD Review - FATEA"

Somewhere in Kentucky, there’s a duo singing folk songs in a Devon accent. It’s part of a celestial vocal exchange program, as that would be the only logical reason that The Carrivick Sisters keep turning in album after album of bluegrass blood harmonies to die for. In fairness there’s a fair amount of death in the songs as well, such is the nature of folk music. “From The Fields” is an album that’ll gladden the heart of anyone who gives it a listen. How can you not like an album that features a track, “The Mouse, The Bird & The Sausage”? Indulge your eardrums with a luxurious treat.


"From the Fields CD Review - Americana UK"

Prodigious Devon twins’ fourth

Though only 21 years of age, Devon twins Charlotte and Laura Carrivick have been Glastonbury regulars for some five years already, and are up to their fourth album in ‘From the Fields’. Bluegrass is a major touchstone for them, but their songwriting, vocals and delivery are definitely rooted in a more austere traditional English folk idiom. The harmonies on ‘From the Field’ are as sublime as can be, and perfectly natural throughout, achieving an other-worldly unison, as one supposes only the insanely telepathic, or twin siblings, can actually achieve.

Influenced by their rural surroundings and the fables of the areas history, sin, injustice and retribution feature heavily in the narratives (‘Flowers with Jamie’, ‘Charlotte Dymond’, ‘From the Fields’), as the body count increases. Conversely then, ‘Today is a Good Day’ then features the kind of sanguinity and light only possible in an explosion at a Prozac factory, though it seems to be more of a stern talking to in the face of impending wretchedness than a shot of saccharine. The wonderfully swaying ‘Song of the Night’ has traces of the McGarrigles about it and equally cements their already growing reputation as masterful songwriters.

Each sister is an immeasurably talented multi-instrumentalist, handling guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro, fiddle and percussion duties all themselves, with a couple of friends guesting on bass, melodean, and welcome appearances from the legendary BJ Cole spicing up a couple of tunes with his pedal steel skills. Played entirely on authentic period acoustic instruments, the sisters’ dexterous musicianship is never in question on these very sparely recorded songs, in fact Charlotte’s guitar playing on ‘Today is a Good Day’ is simply breathtaking.

The Carrivick Sisters are not steering their music down particularly innovative roads just yet, but can’t fail to impress with their deft musicianship, and beautifully warm intertwining vocals. With youth and searing talent on their side they have the chops in every department to become much more than a sideline ‘genre’ act.
- Americana UK

"From The Fields Review - The Telegraph"

Carrivick Sisters are pick of the crop
Carrivick Sisters and Boden & Spiers offer up some of the delights of British folk music.
By Martin Chilton, Digital Culture Editor
There’s is so much good American folk and country music that sometimes some fine homegrown music can easily be overlooked.
The Carrivick Sisters – identical twins from South Devon – play a variety of bluegrass instruments (essentially guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro and fiddle). Although they are still only 21, From The Fields is their fifth CD – and very enjoyable it is too.

West Country place names might not have the glitz of America (Route 66 works in a way that Road A303 just doesn’t) but there are plenty of local sins and sinners to inspire the music of the Carrivicks. Charlotte Dymond, for example, is a jaunty and effective banjo-led murder ballad set in Bodmin.

Flowers With Jamie shows off the sparkling harmonies that prompted Ralph McTell to describe the sisters as “one of the best young duos I’ve ever heard”.

They are also helped by having top-class music people involved in the album. Joe Rusby, brother of Kate, does a great job as producer, John Breese plays fine banjo and BJ Cole adds his pedal steel guitar panache to four songs, helping to light up When The Birds Start To Sing and You’ll Miss Her When She’s Gone.

There is also a fine instrumental – The Mouse, The Bird And The Sausage – inspired by a Brothers Grimm tale.

A little more experienced than the Carrivick Sisters are Spiers & Boden – John Spiers and Jon Boden – illustrated by the release of an impressive album called The Works which celebrates their 10 years in music… for the full article with reviews of Spiers and Boden and Kayla Kavanagh go to the link at the top of this review.
- The Telegraph

"From the Fields CD Review - Q Magazine 4 Stars"

Although just 21, The Carrivick Sisters are already on album four, From the Fields (self-released ****) is a huge step up for the Devon twins, their already formidable multi-instrumental skills and songwriting maturing at such a steep curve they’ll soon be orbiting far beyond anyone else.

Q rating system explained:
5* – CLASSIC. Buy this now! Essential for any collection
4* – EXCELLENT. Rest assured, satisfaction is guaranteed.
3* GOOD. Good within its field, but perhaps not for everyone.
2* FAIR. For die-hard fans only, and even they might be disappointed.
1* POOR. Move along, there’s nothing of interest here.
- Q Magazine

"Live Review - Maverick Magazine"

The Carrivick Sisters and Naomi Sommers
The Live Theatre, Newcastle, March 25 2011

One of the many joys of Maverick Magazine is its never ending ability to unearth new talents that would otherwise go unnoticed in the giddy world of roots and Americana Music. Tonight was a case in point; on paper I would normally have run a mile from a concert that combined English folk music with bluegrass overtones, but following a tip-off from Laura Bethell this gig was one of the best I’ve been to in several years.

The evening started with American singer-songwriter Naomi Sommers announcing that this tour was her first live appearances since their birth of her baby in August 2010 and she was very nervous. You wouldn’t have known it as she opened her set with Fine Morning that instantly evoked memories of a young Joni Mitchell. Naomi went on to sing songs dating back to her teens when she played guitar and sang with the rest of her family in the Sommers-Rosenthal Family Band (perhaps the marketing people could have a re-think on the band moniker?) and onwards to the current day with one she wrote for a college friend who had joined the Army and ended up being posted to Iraq. Naomi’s soft soothing voice carried this ‘protest’ song along without ever hitting the listener over the head. At the end of her short set she invited Laura Carrivick onstage to play Dobro on an enchanting version of Nanci Griffith’s Gulf Coast Highway then Charlotte joined the pair to play mandolin on Sea of Heartbreak.

As usual at Jumping Hot Club gigs there was just enough time for a pint and a wee before the headline act came back on stage. I’d met the Carrivick Sisters earlier in the evening and was staggered at how young they appeared but once on stage they didn’t exactly ‘age’ but gained a presence and confidence that bellied their tender years.

The Sisters opened their set with an intricate folk instrumental called Cuckold Hen which blended into a bluegrass song Waiting For Your Train; which set the scene for the evening. The Carrivick Sisters are from Devon but when they play bluegrass they can stand alongside the best of the best from the Southern half of the USA. Laura’s fiddle and Dobro playing are astounding and without seeing this tiny English Rose playing her instruments ‘in the flesh’ (as it were) you would swear the player was some old wrinkly from Kentucky who had been playing for 60 years! Don’t think for one moment that twin sister Charlotte stands in Laura’s shadow; she plays a pretty damn mean banjo and mandolin when the mood takes her! The average musician would give their left arm to be able to play instruments like these girls but the Carrivick Sisters can not only sing very well but when they harmonise…my legs went weak at the knees and they truly sounded like they had been singing together all of their lives (as twins I guess they have… hahaha!).

As I said earlier the girls blend the very best of English folk music with the very best of American bluegrass and the result is delicious/beautiful/astonishing (delete as appropriate). Songs like The William & Emma, Garden Girls and The Widows Daughter are all quintessentially English folk songs but disguised as bluegrass tunes—baffled? You won’t be. Most songs were introduced by Charlotte; who captivated the disappointingly small audience with her stories and attempts at jokes all evening.

For the last song and the resulting encores the girls invited Naomi Sommers back on stage and her warm voice only added to the sisters gorgeous harmonising on Down in the Willow Garden, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone (which was spellbinding) and the finale Goodbye Grey Sky. In good old-fashioned folk tradition the three young women left the stage and were instantly followed by a steady line of newly found fans straight to the merch table; which was covered in a table cloth the sisters had bought at the Gooseberry Fayre especially for this purpose. As we speak both folk music and bluegrass are going through something of a renaissance so, I hope you get the opportunity to see and hear the Carrivick Sisters at one of the many festivals they will be playing during the summer. Go out of your way to find them; you won’t be disappointed.

Alan Harrison
- Maverick Magazine

"CD Review"

"Better Than 6 Cakes" is a bold boast, unless you're local baker is as bad as ours then it becomes somewhat easier. Fortunately, The Carrivick Sisters, Laura & Charlotte, would put most bakers to shame. They take a huge slice of Americana and run a huge dollop of Devon cream right through the middle. Bluegrass themes are followed and then localised, tales of outlaws become highwaymen, local legends, "Martha Wichalse" for example inspire songs. It's laid back and easy, but the harmonies and songs penetrate deep. Mainly self penned, it entertains through out.

"BBC article/Radio interview"

For full review including pictures and recording of live radio interview visit:

Talented twins - the Carrivick Sisters
Twins off to Glastonbury
Twin sisters Laura and Charlotte Carrivick have earned a guaranteed slot at Glastonbury in 2008, after winning a regional busking competition.

Teenage twins Laura and Charlotte Carrivick from South Devon have been given an opportunity of a lifetime, after winning a busking competition and earning the chance to play at Glastonbury.

The twins, aged 18, from Salcombe, won the competition which was judged by Glastonbury supremo Michael Eavis. Dozens of artists took part in the South West Busking and Street Entertainment Contest.

The best went through to the final in Totnes in September 2007 - and Michael Eavis named the sisters as the overall winners.

There'll be a bigger stage at Glastonbury!
Charlotte and Laura couldn't believe it when they won: "It's far beyond what we could ever have hoped" said Laura. "Glastonbury is the biggest venue we'll ever get to play in.

"It was a huge surprise really - the other performers were all fantastic. Being twins helped - it's a bit different to a normal sort of duo. Also, we play quite a wide range of instruments so we can have quite a few sounds.

"And we both sing in harmony and we write our own stuff so it's quite an interesting mix really."

They write all their songs, which are acoustic/bluegrass/folk.

Charlotte explained: "We are certainly rooted in bluegrass and that's what we listen to, but the sound we get in the end has a lot more of a folky influence.

"Our music is changing all the time really - it changes with every song, I suppose. Each song is different depending on what mood we are in at the time we are writing it."

Laura writes the words and Charlotte adds the music. They've been performing as a duo for a couple of years - but their singing goes back much further than that.

Recording in the studio
"We've always sung together," said Laura. "We sang together in the back of the car when we were very young."

Laura and Charlotte recorded their first CD, My Own Two Feet, in 2006, and followed that with a new collection in 2007, called Better than 6 Cakes.

The songs are recorded at Pigsty Studios - aka their bedroom!

It can get quite packed, with Charlotte playing guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass, and Laura on dobro, fiddle and lap steel.

Glastonbury is a long way away from the streets of Salcombe and Totnes where the sisters usually busk - and they're hoping it will be the big break they've been waiting for.

"We're both taking a gap year at the moment, but we definitely want to make a career in music so this is a really big opportunity for us."

Listen to the sisters talk to BBC Radio Devon's Jo Loosemore, by clicking onto the audio link on this page.

"CD Review - Valley Tan"

Better Than 6 Cakes: The Carrivick Sisters
Written by Brit Driggs
Tuesday, 19 August 2008 12:09

I first heard this sister duo on You Tube. The sound wasn’t synced up correctly and I wondered if they were just pretending to be playing to recordings because the young girls were putting out some solid bluegrass music.

On myspace someone posted an announcement that the Carrivick sisters would be on the TV and internet show Upstaged and gave the URL. So, I clicked on it and watched these 18 year old twins play, entertain, write songs on request, answer questions e-mailed in from all over the world then play some more for 6 hours that day, and another 6 hours the next day and every day throughout the week having won votes over various rock, comedy and magic acts staged in the giant glass box next to theirs. They blew me away with their ability to crank out really sweet folk songs, great instrumentals and harmonies with such an original approach to all of it. I had all my friends hooked by the end of the week.

I scored their CD, Better Than 6 Cakes (Oh, so very British) in July at Rockygrass after Laura competed in the finals in fiddle, taking home 2nd place. They are hoping to score more U.S. gigs next summer. They are a breath of fresh air, Charlotte on guitar, mandolin and vocals and Laura switching from the Fiddle to Dobro and putting sweet sibling harmonies to her sister’s. Their non-presumptive song writing and covers bring something truer yet entirely unique to the folk music they create, touching on British Isles and American sounds and effortlessly infusing the tradition into their new music. They can only get better from here and I’m excited to see what they come up with next.

Check them out online on myspace or at It's just the two of them, which isn't a problem at all. The understated sound is welcome and attests to their musicianship.



From the Fields (self released) 2011
Jupiter's Corner (self released) 2009
Better Than 6 Cakes (self released) 2007
My Own Two Feet (self released) 2006



The Carrivick Sisters, identical twins Laura and Charlotte, grew up in South Devon, England, the stories and landscapes of which have inspired many of their original songs. Their background is in American bluegrass music which shows itself in their line up of instruments – banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and dobro – but their music also has a strong English folk influence. Despite still being in their early twenties, they have been professional for 4 years and in that time have played all over the country and at major festivals both in the UK and abroad (to name a few: Cambridge Folk Festival, Vancouver Island Music Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, The International Eistedfodd, London Guitar Festival...). They have built up a reputation for their confident and engaging live performances with tight harmonies, impressive multi-instrumental skills and great original song writing.

They have released 4 CD’s (My Own Two Feet 2006, Better Than 6 Cakes 2007, Jupiter’s Corner 2009, and From the Fields 2011) to much critical acclaim with Jupiter’s Corner receiving a 5 star review in Maverick Magazine and From the Fields being highly praised by major publications including the Telegraph and Q Magazine which awarded it an impressive 4 stars. In 2010 they were finalists in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards and before that had won the 2007 South West Buskers Competition which result in an appearance on one of the larger Glastonbury stages to which they were invited back the 3 following years as well. In 2008, Laura came 2nd in the Rockygrass Fiddle Contest in America and more recently they were named FATEA's Band/Duo of 2011. They have also made numerous radio appearances including an interview and live session on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

“I am very impressed by The Carrivick Sisters, one of the best young duos I’ve heard. The girls sing and play as one and their work is characterised by great musicality. They are not only very talented instrumentalists and singers but they write really good songs as well.” – Ralph McTell

“A superbly talented pair o’ lasses” – Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2

” …their already formidable multi-instrumental skills and songwriting maturing at such a steep curve they’ll soon be orbiting far beyond anyone else.” – Q Magazine ****

” Carrivick Sisters are pick of the crop.” – The Telegraph

“Somewhere in Kentucky, there’s a duo singing folk songs in a Devon accent. It’s part of a celestial vocal exchange program, as that would be the only logical reason that The Carrivick Sisters keep turning in album after album of bluegrass blood harmonies to die for.” – FATEA Magazine

“They are at their best singing together, but the way they play all of the bluegrass instruments is almost frightening. Their fiddle, mandolin and vocal work on their song ‘Now I know’ is almost too hot for comfort. So young, so much talent” John Atkin, Froots Nov 2011

“Demonstrating rare instrumental and vocal superiority that puts their colleagues to shame… this is one duo which is going places.” Maverick Magazine *****

“Is there anything these young ladies can't do?” Folk & Acoustic Music

2011 Selected Performances

Barnsley Acoustic Roots Festival
Chester Folk Festival
Cambridge Folk Club
Cambridge Folk Festival
Brussels Folk Club (Belgium)
Glastonbury Festival
Nettlebed Folk Club
Hebden Bridge Arts Festival
Broadstairs Folk Festival
Purbeck Festival
Diddmarton Bluegrass Festival
Burnham on Sea Folk Festival
Moseley Folk Festival
Colchester Arts Centre
The Courtyard, Hereford

2010 Selected Performances

BBC Radio 4 ‘Woman’s Hour’
International Guitar Festival, London
Glastonbury Festival
St Ives Summer Festival
Llangollen Eistedffod, Wales
Fylde Folk Festival, Lancashire
Wadebridge Folk Festival
Westcountry Storytelling Festival
Saltburn International Festival,
Dartmoor Folk Festival
Sidmouth Festival Fringe
Warwick Folk Festival
Priddy Folk Festival
Ards International Guitar Festival, Ireland
Southwell Folk Festival
Wath Festival

2008/9 Selected Performances

Vancouver Island Music Festival
Vancouver Folk Festival
Acoustic Festival of Great Britain
Harrison Festival, British Columbia
European World of Bluegrass Festival
Glastonbury Festival


- BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Finalists 2010
- FATEA Band/Duo of the Year 2011
- South West Buskers and Street Entertainers Competition 2007 winners
- Rockygrass Fiddle Contest 2008 (Laura) 2nd
- BBC3 Upstaged Quarter Finals (National TV Talent Contest)

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