Toronto's Creaking Tree String Quartet won two Canadian Folk Music Awards for 2007's The Soundtrack: best instrumental album and the Pushing The Boundaries trophy. Both honours seem appropriate, given the tightness of the band and their refusal to fit tidily into any category.
On their fourth release and first-time recording with guest musicians, they add cello-banjo, mandola and mandocello to their usual violin, mandolin, guitar and bass. The result still sounds like good soundtrack material on The Drunken Detective and creepy opener Little Green Men. Kicking Up Dust is swirling and exciting, and Jazz Hands plays homage to bebop, while The Cut Of Your Jib is country-tinged 50s doo-wop.
Most impressive is the quartet's fluidity of movement between jazz, folk and classical. They sound nostalgic one moment and space age the next.
Top track: Kicking Up Dust