the HiBs
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the HiBs


Band Folk Celtic


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"Dirty Linen Review"

The HiBs 40 Acre Notch [New
Folk NFR1627 (2008] Fiddler Jode
Dowling and flautist Kate Dowling
come out of the seisiun and ceilidh
scene of Minneapolis. This pedigree
insures that you are going to get real traditional Irish music here, with no messing about with electronics, African drums, or other crossover nonsense. This is a marvelous album for any would-be player, as it includes examples of every dance style in the Irish lexicon, including slides and barndances, played at reasonable pace and without excessive
ornamentation. The Dowlings play a couple of widely known
tunes — “Julia Delaney’s,” “Star
of Munster” — but many of these
have been passed to them by fellow
players and session tapes, and so
have the superiority of a good book
from a friend over a title picked
from the bestseller list. That is, you feel let in on something. - Issue #144 Nov/Dec 09

"An exceptionally fine album..."

Kate and Jode Dowling are mainstays of the St. Paul Celtic music scene and alumni of the locally famous Doon Ceili Band; Kate is director of the Center for Irish Music there. They have played together as a flute-and-fiddle duo for 12 years, and this is their debut album. It's a beauty. Though both play with masterful skill, they keep the focus firmly on the tunes rather than on their own virtuosity, resulting in a sound that is clean and joyfully energetic, and tempos that are sturdy but never frenetic. Highlights include a swinging and utterly lovely rendition of the "Bluebell Polka," a slide set consisting of "Nelly Mahoney's," "Tadeen the Fiddler," and "Pete Bradley's" on which bouzouki player Paul Wehling and bodhran player Brian Wade sit in, and a quietly spectacular hornpipe set on which Kate plays whistle and is accompanied only by Wade, who plays with an uncommon tastefulness and range of tone. Part of what makes this program so satisfying is its nice variety of rhythms: polkas, mazurkas, waltzes. and hornpipes are all scattered among the more common jigs and reels, and many of the tunes are relatively uncommon and singularly pretty. This is an exceptionally fine album.
- All Music Guide

"Tim Leary"

"In short, its great. A lovely selection of tunes played at a nice steady pace, and with respect and integrity. You've given the tunes space to speak for themselves without being over produced or cluttered and I liked your version of the mazurkas. I've been playing the record a lot." - Musician and Composer of Tim Leary's Mazurkas

"Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan"

"Solid Irish music played on fiddle and flute, by two people steeped in the tradition. There is no compromise here, the tunes speak for themselves and the musicians play from the heart!" - New Folk Records

"Folk World Review"

The HiBs is the name when Jode Dowling (fiddle) and Kate Dowling (whistle and flute) are performing as a duo or team up with a couple of friends for a party of Celtic jigs & reels. Kate is the Director of the Center for Irish Music in St. Paul, Minnesota. Both Kate and Jode were founding members of the Doon Ceili Band (-> FW#33). "40 Acre Notch" features 15 instrumental tracks, jigs and reels, of course, polkas and hornpipes, but also a waltz, barndances and a mazurka. The latter had been composed by Tim O'Leary, otherwise it's traditional stuff. The playing is first-rate and rock-solid, as is to expect from a pair that is playing together for more than ten years. And the friends and guests are more than talented, let me just mention virtuoso guitarist Dáithí Sproule, who is residing in St. Paul for quite some time. That's the ceilidh, Minnesota style.
- Folk World


40 Acre Notch; released August 12, 2008.
The Doon Ceili Band: Around the World for Sport; Shanachie Records, 2006



In the 40 Acre Notch, on the west side just southeast of the city, there is a kitchen filled with the music of Kate and Jode Dowling. It is a place meant for sharing music with fellow musicians, dancers and discerning convivializers. The heart of the music springs from a relationship dating back to 1992, when Kate and Jode eyes first met across a smoky session. Since 2005, Kate and Jode have been performing as a duet or with an assortment of talented friends as the Hi B's.

Exponents of Irish traditional dance music, this couple were founding members of the Doon Ceili Band and other influential groups. They are respected teachers and founders of the Center for Irish Music in St Paul, an Irish music school that looks to hand down the tradition to the next generation of musicians.

Kate and Jode have learned their craft from countless influences and have played in kitchens from Munich to Cork to Tokyo to Belfast and back. Love for Irish dance music, for rhythmically inspiring music, is what shapes the Hi B's sound. That same energy will inspire both the dancer and listener within you!