5.0 Stars

The award-winning fiddle skills of Meg Hamilton and equally gifted colleagues has established She’Koyokh among the finest klezmer ensembles on the planet and rendered the 15 tracks of Wild Goats & Unmarried Women one of the most striking aural experiences in a month of sabbaths.

Virtuosic violin and clarinet lock in thrilling unison or alternate lighting lead runs in culture-hopping medleys, Bulgarian and Romanian romps and slower-building Greek numbers. Hamilton’s fiddle runs hot over two-to-the-bar Hot Club of France-styled guitar chord changes. A Moldavian dance tune is illuminated by Matt Bacon’s slick Django-esque soloing and Zivorad Nikolic’s amazing accordion acrobatics. Susi Evans’s clarinet chops and Cigdem Aslan’s vocals hypnotise in a more sedate Kurdish song.

Flamenco-inspired guitar, Indian-inflected violin and wheezy squeezebox preface Aslan’s equally soulful singing in sad Sephardic, Greek and Bosnian love ballads. Ben Samuels’s mandolin tremolo sets up double bassman Paul Tkachenko’s guttural vocals in a waltz. In a Bulgarian horo (dance tune) and Serbian circle dance Tkachenko’s tuba provides a bass throb for flying lead fingers and fiddle-bowing brilliance. Vasilis Sarikis’s percussion percolates in a Turkish goat-herding eulogy.

Tony Hillier, The Australian