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Marc Atkinson Trio, Quebe Sisters Band at Four Corners Folk Festival

 The 14th annual Four Corners Folk Festival will take place Sept. 4-6, over Labor Day weekend on Reservoir Hill right here in Pagosa Springs.

The musical lineup features 14 outstanding national and international performers including Tim O’Brien, Sara Watkins (formerly of Nickel Creek), the subdudes, Darrell Scott, The Bills, The Greencards, The Infamous Stringdusters, Anne and Pete Sibley, Eddie From Ohio, Russ Barenberg Trio, the Wiyos, Shannon Whitworth and this week’s featured artists: the Marc Atkinson Trio and the Quebe Sisters.

 Marc Atkinson, leader and composer of the internationally renowned Marc Atkinson Trio, is one of Canada’s finest JUNO-nominated, Western Canadian award-winning musicians. The music of this virtuosic group is melodically captivating, sensually charged and ferociously, technically awe-inspiring. Embracing a lifetime of musical influences, Marc and the Trio have just released their fourth CD, “The Marc Atkinson Trio IV,” praised as their finest yet. The compositions on this CD are punchy, driving and rhythmically inventive. The Trio, formed in 2000, has toured North America, England and Europe and has received standing ovations everywhere they perform from the Montreal Jazz Festival to the Vancouver International Folk Festival to DjangoFest Northwest.

 “The Marc Atkinson Trio II” was voted one of the top five albums in North America by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. “The Marc Atkinson Trio III” was nominated in 2006 for an Outstanding Album Award at the Western Canadian Music Awards. Marc’s tunes have a fiery but elegant guitar style, infused with a catchy blend of influences; all this while still maintaining the laidback humor and casual “good time feel” of Canada’s West Coast. Atkinson’s picking has been described as flawless, surprise-filled, sizzling and supremely melodic. His music is original, complex and challenging in its conception and delivery but remains accessible and absorbing. The Marc Atkinson Trio will be at this year’s festival to take all listeners for an intriguing, exhilarating and unforgettable ride on Friday, Sept. 4, at 5:45.

 When Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe (pronounced kway-bee) take to a stage, audiences marvel at the sight of three young girls ready to please the crowd. When they raise their fiddles and play, audiences marvel again at the intricacy of the sound issuing forth. But when the girls sing their vintage-style three-part harmony, audiences are blown away. Add the rhythm guitar of Joey McKenzie and the upright bass of Drew Phelps, and The Quebe Sisters Band becomes a force of nature.

 Whether it’s a Western swing classic a la Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, a swing standard (Benny Goodman), vintage country shuffle (Ray Price) or a Western anthem that would do Sons of the Pioneers proud, these girls are phenomenal. The house comes down, too, when they launch into bluegrass or a traditional, Texas old-time fiddle breakdown. The reaction is the same wherever the Fort Worth-based group goes, and they’ve been around — to concert halls, festivals, cowboy gatherings and rodeos across North America, as well as The Kennedy Center, the Grand Ole Opry and NYC’s Lincoln Center.

 As fast as a Texas fiddle breakdown, the Quebe sisters went from watching a fiddle contest and falling in love with real fiddle music to lessons with both band-mate-to-be and three-time world champion fiddler McKenzie and his wife, Sherry, to winning state, regional and national fiddle championships to singing together — finding themselves gloriously talented, loving it and joyful to share it with others. You will have two opportunities to check out The Quebe Sisters Band on the main stage: Friday, Sept. 4, at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 5, at 10:30 a.m..

 The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Colorado General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

 Tickets are available locally at Moonlight Books downtown and at ReSport in the Pagosa Lakes City Market shopping center or can be purchased online at www.folkwest.com and by phone, (877) 472-4672. Additional festival information can be found on the festival Web site: www.folkwest.com.

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