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A boot kickin’ western trio shows how fiddles can sing

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The award-winning Quebe Sisters return to Artesia. (Submitted Photo)

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When the Quebe Sisters from Texas take the stage, and the triple-threat fiddle champions start playing and singing in multi-part close harmony, audiences are transfixed, then blown away. On Oct. 11, the sisters perform for one night only at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center, 310 W. Main St., at 7 p.m.

Along with headlining their own shows to ever-growing audiences, they’ve shared stages with American music legends like Willie Nelson, George Strait, Merle Haggard, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Ray Price, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Asleep at the Wheel and Riders in the Sky to name a few. The Quebe Sisters’ unbridled passion for American music, along with their talent, skills and a lot of hard work, has taken them far beyond their wildest early aspirations. “One thing is for sure, you don’t see a group like the Quebe Sisters come along every day,” famed Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs told listeners on his own show on Nashville’s WSM. “Give them your undivided attention, and if you’re not already, you too, will become a fan.”

The names of the sisters are Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe.

The sisters are familiar with the area, in a phone call, Grace Quebe said, “We’ve played at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center now – I think this is going to be our third time. I am looking forward to it. The theater is so nice, we are really looking forward to playing out there again.”

For those who have not been able to see them, Quebe said, “We are a Western Swing band — we play what we call Western Swing. It’s a style that originated in Texas and Oklahoma by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. What we thrive to do is to bring in the new influences of today’s music and incorporate that into the style of Western Swing because that’s what they did: bringing together different styles and creating its own genre in Western Swing. We are seeking that. We have triple fiddles, which is kind of rare. My sisters and I also sing and we have rhythm guitar and a bass. We’re a small band, but we are definitely keeping instrumentation traditional.”

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Asked where the sisters got their talent from, Quebe said, “We are the only ones in the family that play, we took music lessons early on. I think our mom is pretty musically talented, but she never played an instrument. She has a good ear.

“My sisters and I played locally since we were kids and now we tour full-time as a band,” Quebe said.

So far the sisters have released three albums and are working on a fourth that should be released next year. They are going to perform a variety of styles during their performance at the Ocotillo PAC.

“We play several different genres of music in our band, just for variety’s sake,” Quebe said. “They are all similar styles besides Western Swing, we play country, old-old country like shepherd music. We play Western music like cowboy tunes, like Sons of the Pioneers. We play a little bit of gospel, Texas-style fiddling — that’s how we got started, with Western Texas-style fiddling — people will hear a variety and in Western Swing we play jazz, too.

“All of these styles are pretty much rooted in dance music. We try to keep it danceable even though I know we will be playing to a theater audience that night in the Ocotillo, but we do play for dances and it’s really fun because that’s really the roots of all the music we play,” Quebe said.

The sisters have a message for their audience, Quebe said. “We would love for folks to come on out and check out our show; we have played in New Mexico and y’alls area several times. We are excited to come back. I always like to play in that part of the country. If you enjoy Western Swing, or country music, fiddling music or sibling harmony, we love for you to come to our show and check it out.”

For more information, call the Ocotillo Box Office at 575-746-4212 or visit artesiaartscouncil.com.

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