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…
Join the discussion 14 Comments
I know that many of your fans do not want you to veer from your Texas-Style of music but I do not happen to be one of those fans. I would listen to you guys sing anything. It is getting harder and harder to just find performers that even try to harmonize. Have you ever thought of covering songs like The Beatles – ‘That Boy’ or The Beach Boys – ‘In My Room’ ? The Quebe Sisters did such an great job on Fats Waller’s – Sin to Tell a Lie’, have you ever thought of doing a cover of one of his other tunes like ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ ?
Very much enjoyed your performance at Payson AZ. Drove down from Salt Lake City to see it with my family. Their first QSB show but I’ve enjoyed your shows in Redmond WA, Columbia Blue Grass Festval. Taste of Dallas. And Bob Wills musical at the Richardson. Please book a venue in Salt Lake City soon.
I’m still waiting for your rendition of ‘Mr. Sandman’. When the song gets to the part of ‘and give him wavy hair like Liberace’, I substitute ‘like Lady Gaga’ !! You could do alot of harmony with that song.
Hi Sophie, this is your old Pennsylvania friend with whom you have talked to on the phone years ago.
I just received your Newsletter here in north Germany, the end of a five week self made tour: Bucharest, Romania, Danube boat tour Black Sea to Germany, Salzburg, Austria, Vienna, Budapest, Prague and now here. You guys have to visit these places before you get married and can no longer do it. I long for your music
These ladies are fantastic! We attend their shows whenever we can when they are in town!
I’ve enjoyed listening to your music since your beginning. Three fiddles!!! Until you came onto the scene, my father and his 2 brothers were the only triple fiddle players that I heard. Sadly missed, as they departed from this life over 35 yrs. ago. I, too, have a violinist in my group. Check out youtube.com and listen to “Bars and Bows”
Keep up the great music you’re doing.
Dear Sophia, Grace & Hulda,
Hope you find time to enjoy life.
I’ve enjoyed watching you practically grow up playing your music on Youtube!
My Wife surprised me with tickets to your up coming concert in Nashville August 26!
Can’t wait to hear you “live”!
Barry & Debbie
The first time I saw y’all was when Bob Phillips did a the Story on y’all in your back yard when you were little girls. I couldn’t wait until y’all grew up, and have followed you the whole time. You are a great group. I will be at the Eisemann Center in Richardson to see you in March.
You and your sisters are amazing, and spending you spare time “changing the oil on your car” shows what a true Texan you are (Texans fix their stuff). Ever since the first show on the first day of the Texas State Fair when you ladies were there (and many shows after, I always get a season pass) I have been amazed by your talent. I cherish the autographed CD (cover insert) from that Texas State Fair show from your first CD, and the picture I ordered online. Your CD’s have also (only the extras I order) been top sellers in our family reunion silent auction which supports the yearly event.
Thank you for sharing your talent, and giving us some of the most wonderful music to listen.
I think all of the Texan September souls have a divine connection 🙂
I wonder who’s coming to the Houston Discovery Green Thursday concerts this summer. Check their website……hmmm….”The Quebe Sisters Texas Fiddle Phemons”….have to click on this link……whoa!! Why haven’t I heard of them before?
Y’all knocked me out. I sure hope I don’t get a gig that night so I can gather up the family and friends to come out to your concert.
P.S. Sophia – your vocal style reminds me of Mary Ann Price, formerly of Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks.
Great show in Tomball. You were, as I expected, friendly and gracious. As a long time musician, I hear a lot of songs in my head that you could use to, oh let’s say, fill up a new CD. Just my suggestions of course.
Flyin’ High (Bryant/West), Fever (Lee), Take Five (Brubeck), Wonderful Tonight (Clapton), Moonglow (?), Lullaby of Birdland, Remington Ride (Remington). That should give you a kick start. (Seriously, do the Clapton.)
Saw the Quebe Sisters in Apache Junction, Az. on Valentines Day. So down to earth, and just wonderful young ladies. The have such great talent.
I have been a barroom musician most of my life.. I stopped playing clubs in 1981 and became a christian.. Now I am 78 and don’t play at all.. Violin was my first instrument and then guitar and electric bass.. I was the vocalist in all the bands I worked with.. I think I can judge you fairly.. Your are just perfect and beautiful also.
Have you and your sisters tried any tunes by the Mavericks (Raul Malo)? Or have you tried to play West Texas Town by Dale Dillon?