Monday, July 11, 2016
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: TEN STRINGS AND A GOAT SKIN - AUPRES DU POELE
Well, how dare they! No sooner had the young hotshots in 10SaaGS returned home to P.E.I. after conquering the continent on a European tour, then they were off again for big-time gigs at venerable Mariposa, and an upcoming series at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Fear not though, they'll be back in just a few days to play their brand-new album for Maritimers, with a string of dates through the rest of the summer.
Summer might seem like an odd time to release an album called Auprès du Poéle ("around the woodstove"), but it's certainly hot music of course, the trio continuing the impressive work from their first two albums. The title refers to recording the album in Joliette, Quebec in the late months of year, with Leonard Podolak of the beloved folk group The Duhks producing. It's a great cultural grab-bag of styles, reflecting the many influences the band calls on, including Acadian, Quebecois, Anglo and Celtic. There are instrumentals for their flying fingers; fiddle tunes and medleys. Some of the vocal numbers are trad-sounding, others more modern, with rich harmonies.
Lament For Buckles, is a sad send-off for a pet bunny, part-Appalachian, and part modern Canadian, before exploding into a second half of rich percussion interplay for Ron's Broken Chair. The title cut is a sure-fire way (pun implied) to beat the winter blues, definitely some East Coast understanding in those words. And it's a monumental folk moment when Podolak brings in his bandmates for a big jam to end the album, as the two groups combine for Dukh Dukh Goat. If you wanted to play one song to explain traditional music in Canada, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one.