Canadian roots musicians Karrnnel Sawitsky and Daniel Koulack are masters of their craft. They’ve teamed up as a duo dubbed Fiddle & Banjo, named after their instruments of choice, and blend the music of the Canadian North and American South on new album “Tunes From the North, Songs From the South.”
Sawitsky is a renowned fiddle player who toured with a family band growing up and later helped push the boundaries of what the instrument can do in acclaimed fiddle ensemble The Fretless. Koulack, meanwhile, has earned a deserved reputation as one of the best clawhammer banjo players in Canada and realized he and Sawitsky were kindred spirits when they met at a folk music camp jam session.
“Tunes From the North, Songs From the South’ is their second album together. There are a few first-rate originals (“Lullaby,” “Waltz of Life,” “Rubin”) but the bulk of the 13-track, 40-minute platter is comprised of Fiddle & Banjo’s spin on traditional Appalachian folk songs. Highlights include “Little Birdie,” “The Woodchuck Set,” “Traditional Tune,” “Killin’ Time” and “How Does a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Lives.” Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)