Le Vent du Nord—or, in the English tongue, The Northwind—is a quartet preserving old folk traditions, giving very little over to modernism, and has been around for many years, now producing their first live document. In the process, they snagged a number of guests and here present a very full sound, having, as the cover photo shows, up to ten musicians on stage at the same time. The band's intent is to keep the spirit of French-Canadian music alive and well, and they certainly seem to know exactly what they're doing in that regard.
Nothing here is on the order of latterday progressive Celtic musics, the strains keeping strongly to bygone veins, which means that virtuosic displays aren't front and center but rather replaced by harmony and rhythm, though a nice solo here and there arises. The instruments are well played but subordinated to the human voice, to solo and communal singing, except in La Pastre des Etats, an instrumental. This particular concert was played in memory of the late Denis Frechette, an esteemed fellow musician, and his spirit seems to have imbued all involved to transcend even their own plateau-high norms.
One newspaper put it well: "just plain good clean fun", and that's precisely what it is. Despite recessing much of the audience response in the mix, the crowd's exuberance nonetheless comes thundering through, frequently in answer to group enticements to give vent to their enthusiasm. One can easily picture all and sundry up out of their seats and dancing in the aisles; it's that kind of music, the sort of event that curries tribalistic instincts in anyone loving this kind of infectious atmosphere. Thus, one can only reduplicate the experience by getting the CD and…a votre plaisir, mes amis!
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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