"Tamarack ... put on a great show, music that had the old hall shaking at times with the stamping and clapping going on."
ChronicleJournal.com Feb. 2002
"Old and new fans alike responded warmly to Tamarack's unique blending of traditional airs and original compositions which results in their trademark folk sound, with just a touch of old-fashioned country stirred in for good measure."
Thunder Bay Post Feb. 2002
is a band who knows what the music they play should sound like
and knows how to make it sound that way"
Dirty Linen, Philadelphia
deeply its influence has stretched into new Canadian music"
The Toronto Star
"Politska budskap formedlar aven Ontariotrion Tamarack, som samtidigt garna viftar med en fyndig slogan: Canadian Routes Music. Och nog visar Spirit & Stone spannvidd i bade tid och rum. Keltisk musik blandas med folkrock och modern bluegrass pa detta femtonde (!) album, dar ljudbilden domineras as fiol, mandolin och gitarr. Mest tilltaler den sakra stamsangen. Latmaterialet ar av mycket hog klass. Vartannat stycke har signerats av bandets gitarrist Alex Sinclair."
Hallandsposten, Sweden, Sept. 2000
"Tamarack is a Canadian landmark... Many of their songs focus on landscape and the natural resources and views the land has to offer. Alex is an excellent prolific writer ... and the offerings from Ian Tamblyn, Harri Palm and James Gordon here are great ones.
Retreating Like Tecumseh is the CD's standout. Making use of the picture-painting gift he has always had, Alex Sinclair leans on the Tamarack habit of drifting into historical facts and figures to make points. In this case it is to comment on contemporary Canadian politics.
Kurvink's bass and clear singing give Tamarack the grounded, round the campfire home feel I've always enjoyed about this group. No pretenses. No fluff. Nothing ostentatious or unnecessary. Spirit and Stone has all the usual Tamarack strengths, good writing, and able musicians having fun."
Sing Out! magazine Spring 2001
"It was truly a magical evening...the vocals were wonderful, the
musicianship very tight and the delivery was great.
Words like "awesome" and "fantastic" seem overused, and yet I can't
think any others that are more appropriate. Your guitar playing on
"Magdalen McGillivray" is possibly the most creative and interesting
that I've ever heard. Shelley's "Hi-Lo Reel" could raise Tim Finnegan
himself. Molly's vocals can really reach out and touch you."
Fan at house concert Spring 2001
" Canada's Tamarack has been recording
wonderful music in various configurations for a dozen years.
Perhaps this continual change, the adding of new blood and
ideas, has helped the group to keep recording fresh albums like
Spirit & Stone.
The leading tracks, "Campfire Light" and "Steady
On," flaunt everything that makes this group so good: great
vocals, splendid instrumental work, and a nice choice of
material. Molly Kurvink's voice carries an abundance of emotion,
whether singing about lost love in "I Wish It Would Rain," or
about an environmental concern in "Those Fatal Lights." Alex
Sinclair utilizes his more traditionally flavored vocals to good
effect on self-penned originals like "Oh, Donald" and "The
Gradual Demise of All Things." Violin/mandolin/mandola player
Shelley Coopersmith adds pleasant harmony to a number of tracks,
and sings lead on "The Old Wood Stove" and "Water Run Over the
It is this mixture of several good singers that allow
for the beautiful intertwining of voices on songs like "Dans le
Nord Canadien." Kurvink's bass playing and John Adames'
percussion give this rich acoustic music a steady underpinning
while Rick Fines and John Switzer add flourishes of slide and
electric guitar here and there.
All the material, whether
original or drawn from Canadian songwriters like Ian Tamblyn,
works together to make Spirit & Stone an organic whole. For
those unfamiliar with Tamarack's brand of Canadian folk, this
album is a good place to begin one's acquaintance. -Ronnie D.
Lankford, Jr. -AMG Expert Review, summer 2001
"One of Canadas best kept musical secrets for nearly two decades ... This tradition/contemporary acoustic brew (Spirit & Stone CD) is a worthy addition to this trio's catalogue" FRoots, UK Nov 2001
Canadian, drawn from multiple folk traditions and some of the
best acoustic folk being performed today" Hour, Montreal
that reflect this country's early years, sung with skill and
enthusiasm, ..energy and charm"
Canadian Composer, Toronto
songs...often intense and at times, sad. Tender, often off-beat
Rogue Folk Revue, Vancouver
The Record, Kitchener ON
"Sinclair's writing is in the same league as Stan Rogers,
Gordon Lightfoot and James Keelaghan....All of the instrumental
accompaniment and vocal harmonies are fantastic. Highest Recommendation"
Victory Review, Seattle
are a terrific band. I've seen them a million times over the
years and they seem to get better with each outing. Besides
their excellent music they have such a friendly stage manner
as they interact with the crowd. ...Tamarack's music really strikes
a chord. Perhaps it is the snippets of Canadiana they sing about:
hockey, sitting at the cottage playing guitars or driving down
the highway with frozen windows. These are things we have all
records in 20 years and Guelph-based trio Tamarack remains Canadian
folk music's greatest enigma- at once the country's most-played
acoustic export, yet all but unknown outside the folk realm
in its native Ontario. Maybe that's because the group's folkloric
obsession with chronicling Canadian history overshadows its
bounty of songs dealing with more contemporary subject matter.
Yet, 13, like the past few Tamarack releases, is a compelling
synthesis of those twin sensibilities, filled with ( you guessed
it, 13) songs that speak to where Canada has been and where
it's going. The angry screed of the leadoff " We Owe It
To the Pioneers" sets the tone, juxtaposing a century of
hardscrabble miners, fishers, farmers and textile workers against
their great-grandchildren, who "fall through the corporate
cracks" amid concrete canyons. Each track is distilled
through the rich harmonies of James Gordon, Molly Kurvink and
Alex Sinclair and a multi-instrumental cast of ex-members and
musical friends representing the full range of Can-folk traditions."
Mitch Potter, The Toronto Star
has Gilles Vigneault, Alberta has Ian Tyson and the Maritimes,
Rita MacNeil: storytellers who sing of the places they call
home. Ontario has Tamarack..."
The Montreal Gazette
twenty years now Tamarack has been helping Canadian history
come memorably and melodiously alive...Through their songs you
see again the landscapes of a hundred years ago, hear the heartbeats
of the people who worked the land, feel the loss and desolation
of closed mills and factories, smell the smoke from lake-going
steamships and understand how life was once for the coal-miners,
craftsmen, farmers and fur traders and for the women who waited
at home...Tamarack delighted an appreciative audience at the
Roselawn Complex in Port Colborne.. They produce a sound that
makes your toes tap and your minds ponder....While these musicians
celebrate the richness of the past, they raise questions about
squandered heritages while also turning their attention to social
injustices and current social issues... Whatever they write
about Tamarack do it with sincerity and skill in the sounds
they create and the past they recreate... Kurvink in particular
has a seductive voice that can capture the innocence of a child
or etch rough lines on copper..."
The Tribune, Welland ON