Album Review- Hops & Stops by Four of a Kind

Hailing from the Netherlands and Belgium, Four of a Kind is actually three players- Michael Boere (uillean pipes), Tijn Berends (bouzouki, guitar, and harmonica), and Suzanne Leeuw (bodhrán). Their first album, Hops & Stops, was released in the late Spring of 2020. One of the first noticeable qualities of this album is the strength of both individual and ensemble playing. Each player demonstrates a mastery on their respective instruments. This is apparent from the very first track, “Intercity Utrecht”- from Boere’s precision of melody, to Berends’ drive in melody and accompaniment, to Leeuw’s tasteful use of the full range of the drum, it is clear that this is music made by very capable hands. In addition to the strength of musicianship, the tunes and arrangements are also equally compelling. “The Lebowski Set” (Track #6) highlights this - the variations within tunes (the Hops & Stops, if you will) are unique and interesting, and the transitions between tunes and grooves within sets are natural and unforced. The result is an album full of tracks that abides easily with the ear. As such, Hops & Stops is an album that will find a happy home in any traditional music lover’s collection. Find out more about them and their music at www.fourofakind.nl.

Short Album Quote

"Fantastic individual and ensemble playing, engaging tune variations, and killer sets… this album is sure to be a favorite for traditional music fans everywhere.”

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