Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Review -- LE VENT DU NORD -- Dans Les Airs

DANS LES AIRS
Le Vent Du Nord
Borealis Records
8.5-out-of-10

Well here is one of those CDs which is admittedly more of a challenge to review than most given that Le Vent Du Nord hail from Quebec and the material is all in French.
Luckily, at least to my ear, French is a very musical language, and you can appreciate this effort for its musical quality without understanding the lyrics. To me the voices simply become another instrument adding to the depth of the music here.
In that regard Le Vent Du Nord quickly impresses. The harmonies on sings such as La Piastre des Etats
are tight, and have a lilting quality which fits perfectly with the folk, acoustic style of music.
Secondly, when it comes to Quebec folk music there is an expectation of great fiddle, and Le Vent Du Nord does not disappoint on that count either. Olivier Demers knows his way around the fiddle real well, offering up some tantalizing solos, such as the lead in to La Traversee.
Rejean Brunet and Nicolas Boulerice both contribute accordion to the effort – Boulerice on the accordion piano -- and that adds nicely to the rustic roots feel of this CD. Boulerice also plays hurdy gurdy (also known as the wheeled-fiddle), and piano here.
Simon Beaudry is the guitarist.
Many readers might shy away from seeking out a CD sung in a foreign language, but I'd recommend you give this one a try if you like folk music. The instrumentation is familiar because of the style, and very well done, and the French language truly sounds great here as well.
This one is worth stretching your ears to give a listen. You can check them out at www.leventdunord.com where you do have the option of an English website.
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.2, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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