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Private Label  BZBCD03

With their name taken from one of the names for Old Nick himself, you’d expect this band to set a devilishly good standard - and indeed they do. The opening track, Jean-Claude Marquis, strikes a rip-roaring pace, with the typical vocal lining-out followed by choral repetition of Quebecois tradition backed by buoyant jew’s harp, guitar and driving foot rhythms.

The group’s six musicians, all hailing from Lanaudière, Quebec, wield an intimidating array of instruments between them, and this prowess is displayed in the diversity of tones and timbres on this their third album. So the driving rhythms of the opener give way to puckish light-heartedness on Ami, Mon Bel Ami, before the central track of the album, the magnificently brooding fiddle-led instrumental Les Croisades. Most of the songs and tunes are traditional Quebecois, apart from a few Irish tunes seamlessly and effectively integrated, with the sources rigorously recorded in the sleeve notes.

This is an album which brings pleasure regardless of language, and so requires no translation. Well, apart from the pun of the album’s title, that is, which only works if you say it in French. (Try it.)

Clare Button

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This album was reviewed in Issue 92 of The Living Tradition magazine.