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The Creaking Tree String Quartet 

Sundogs (Indie)

click to enlarge creakingreview.jpg
Acoustic bass and guitar, violin and mandolin with a bit of banjo, when played like this, create more electricity than they require. On its fourth album, the quartet from Toronto touches on jazz, bluegrass, chamber music and future mysteries without lingering for long. When drums check in, as on “Last Payphone in Parkdale,” they test the boundaries like caged lizards. Violinist John Showman can swing a la Grappelli or duplicate the whimsy of a musical saw with chops of mad science. Anyone who caught Creaking Tree’s show last July at St. Paul’s won’t be surprised at how nimble fingers and resonance build such a unique sound.
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