In honor of her recent birthday, here is a quick interview with the always-entertaining middle sister, Sophia Quebe.
What advice would you give to someone just beginning to play?
Consistency over quantity in practice. Learning how to practice efficiently is a study in itself, which I still have much to learn. It is more beneficial to practice a smaller amount of material or technique consistently, as in daily, than to be sporadic but try to cram in a lot of hours.
What is the most important quality a musician can possess?
I’d say finding your own voice. This is something I don’t pretend to have figured out, it is a life long pursuit for a musician.
You grew up playing Texas-Style fiddle in contests. How does having that background play out in the context of The Quebe Sisters?
I think the sound of Texas-Style fiddling is ingrained into me and that the breakdown fiddling we’ve grown up listening to (Terry Morris, Benny Thomasson, Major Franklin, etc.) has given me a preference for a very “fiddley,” gutsy sound when I hear the fiddle played in styles such as Texas breakdowns, country tunes, bluegrass, Western swing, etc. Exceptions that come to mind are the jazz violin styles of Joe Venuti and Stéphane Grappelli. Their playing is certainly gutsy but not “fiddley” in nature, the common denominator is that they swing.
What do you love most about the fiddle?
All the different styles that can be played on it; it’s like hearing people talk with different accents and different languages. It’s incredible that the music you hear coming out of Itzhak Perlman’s violin is played on the same instrument that Orville Burns (Legendary Texas-Style Fiddler) played when he scalds “Hell Among the Yearlings.”
How do you like to spend your time off the road?
It may sound cliché, but I like to study, practice, spend time with friends and family, and also catch up on mundane things like washing clothes, running errands, changing the oil in my car, etc.
What music are you listening to these days?
I’ve been listening to Bob Dylan, fiddle jam tapes, Count Basie, Punch Brothers new album (The Phosphorescent Blues), Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Ahmad Jamal, and Stevie Wonder. This may change tomorrow…