Performers for the 2018 National Folk Festival
Texas fiddling and western swing
When Texas sisters Grace, Sophia, and Hulda Quebe (rhymes with “maybe”) take to a stage to fiddle, and sing, in three-part harmony, they delight audiences with their sparkle and verve as well as their instrumental and vocal virtuosity. It’s as if the Andrews Sisters had joined up with Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys in musical heaven.
Before any of them reached their teens, the sisters went to a fiddle contest near their hometown of Burleson and fell in love with traditional Texas fiddle music with its smooth, distinctive “long-bow” sound. All three had studied classical violin, but they launched into fiddle lessons together, and within a year they excelled in regional competitions. The sisters went on to be Texas State Champion fiddlers, and each has won titles at the National Old-Time Fiddlers Contest in Weiser, Idaho.
It was only after the sisters put out their first album as an ensemble, 2003’s instrumental recording Texas Fiddlers, that they took bluegrass star Ricky Skaggs’ suggestion to add singing to their performances. Their second outing, 2007’s Timeless, showcased the Quebes’ perfect sibling harmonies along with their ever-expanding repertoire of top-notch fiddle and swing tunes, and earned them national notice. They were named Western Group of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists and received the Crescendo Award for outstanding emerging artists from the Western Music Association.
On their latest recording, Every Which-A-Way, The Quebe Sisters continue to amaze with their refreshing blend of musical styles, all building on their grounding in the Texas fiddling tradition. The sisters move seamlessly from a vintage country shuffle, through a hot jazz or swing standard, to a western swing classic à la Bob Wills. The Quebe Sisters have performed to great acclaim at the Grand Ole Opry, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, New York City’s Lincoln Center, and Wolf Trap. They come to the National Folk Festival with the stellar accompaniment of Simon Stipp on rhythm guitar and Daniel Parr on bass. As famed Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs said of The Quebe Sisters on his show on Nashville’s famed WSM, “Give them your undivided attention, and if you’re not already, you too will become a fan.”