Album Reviews

The Haden Triplets – The Haden Triplets

(Third Man Records)

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hadentriplets550_2Tanya, Rachel, and Petra Haden are triplets that grew up with music surrounding them; their father Charlie  was a jazz double bass player, known for his playing with Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett. Their musical background was diverse; when visiting their father’s family (who used to sing on country radio stations as the Haden Family Band) in Missouri, the were tutored in country music.  When visiting their maternal grandparents, they were lulled to sleep with Yiddish songs.  The important pieces are that there was always music around them, and their grandparents taught them the harmonies that were so important to country music from the time they were born.
These young ladies can and do sing;  they have that clarity of voice that is so important, and they have learned how to sing in 3-part harmony.  The latter is something they have been doing all their lives and it shows.  It is that instinctive harmony that is shared between siblings, and there is an even closer bond with twins and triplets.  Right from the opening song, “Slowly,”  the voices are so close that you could not slip the finest of hairs between the voices. Listen to what they do with “Voice From On High;” there isn’t a more beautiful sound than the three voices so beautifully intertwined, with the one voice at times breaking away to sing a lead.
Then there are the musicians, that contribute to the overall sound.  Ry Cooder (guitar and mandolin), Joachim Cooder (drums), and Rene Camacho (bass) all contribute, while mandolin master Ricky Skaggs appears on a few tracks.  The musicians support the voices without overshadowing them, and yet they are never just filling in, rather playing their parts. Ry also lent a hand as a producer, and he does a gorgeous job.
If you are a fan of old timey, beautifully-presented music, don’t miss this one.  This is easily one of the most stunning pieces I’ve heard in a long time.
– Bob Gottlieb

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