Le Vent du Nord
La Part du Feu (Borealis Music, 2009)
Canadian band Le Vent du Nord’s recording La Part du Feu is a winner. The band has risen to the top of the Quebecois music scene with hard work, music creativity, extensive research, traditional song reconstruction and excellent musicianship. What makes the band specially attractive musically is its brilliant mix of Quebecois traditions with the songs from other parts of francophone North America, pan-Celtic (Scottish, Breton and Irish) melodies and a wink to La Bottine Souriante’s brassband sound.
The current line-up includes Réjean Brunet (accordion, bass and vocals), Nicolas Boulerice (piano, accordion and hurdy-gurdy), Olivier Demers (violin, vocals) and Simon Baudry (vocals, bouzouki, guitar). “Through traditional songs we discover pieces of our history,” says founding member Nicolas Boulerice. “The songs provide direct contact with a moment from long ago, showing us what life was like at that time.” Accordionist Réjean Brunet adds, “On this record we wanted to put a spotlight on the texts of the songs to bring out their stories. We wanted to show that this music is not just for parties, but can also tell us about who we are as Québécois.”< The band's repertory benefits from contributions by veteran traditional musicians, music aficionados and researchers. Le Vent du Nord's manager Genevieve Nadeau has spent many hours of research in the Archives de Folklore de l’Université Laval, Quebec in Quebec and one of her findings, “Les Métiers” ended up on the album. Montreal-based brass ensemble Grüv ‘N’ Brass appears as a guest in the Dixieland jazz-infused piece titled “Montcalm” and even the blues finds its way into La Part du Feu. “We wanted to do something different from the outset of this album, but we didn’t quite know what that would be,” says Brunet. “We wanted the music to be based on traditions but also open to any kind of arrangements,” adds Boulerice. “We were looking for new sounds.” On the track “La Mine,” he continues, “Simon Beaudry, our guitarist, was looking for another sound. I suggested he play his bouzouki with a metal slide.”
Le Vent du Nord’s La Part du Feu shows us dazzlingly skilled Quebecois musicians happily at work.
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