Sunday, October 28, 2012

In review--Happy birthday, Le Vent du Nord

Le Vent du Nord
Tromper Le Temps
Borealis Records

Hailing from Quebec, Le Vent du Nord also performed at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in 2003, as part of a celebration of traditional Quebecois music.  I interviewed the quartet, who at the time had a different line-up than the band has today.  Six albums and ten years later, Le Vent du Nord (the north wind) still rallies on, fired by founding members Nicolas Boulerice (hurdy-gurdy, piano, voice), Olivier Demers (violin/fiddle, feet, mandolin, electric guitar, voice), and Simon Beaudry (guitar, voice, bouzouki) and Réjean Brunet (accordion, bass, piano, jaw harp and voice).  Even when these musicians sing sober lyrics, you still feel like you have been invited to a soirée.

Take a listen to the rousing opener Lettre À Durham, in which the singers address the 19th century English diplomat who inspired the Union Act bringing Lower and Upper Canada together, despite the Quebecois wishes.  However, tongue and cheek tunes such as La Soirée Du Hockey, and Le Winnebago appear long side historic love songs, Toujours Amants and Adieu Marie (which sounds like a Cajun waltz).  Similar to the Native American (Navajo-Ute) musician R. Carlos Nakai, Le Vent du Nord has also given traditional music a facelift, while keeping the roots intact.  Le Vent even brings in Celtic influences with a jaw harp.  Take a listen to the jig Le Rêve D’Adrien.

Happy anniversary Le Vent du Nord and here’s to the next decade.

Here's my 2003 article on Traditional Quebecois Music, originally published on Cranky Crow Whole Music.

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