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02/05/2019
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Le Vent Du Nord | Territoires

Le Vent Du Nord (The North Wind), arguably the finest Quebecois trad group currently working, blows back in with their tenth album. They’re a well-oiled machine after more than 1,800 concert appearances, including the Richmond Folk Festival in 2006 and 2014. The new album introduces a fifth member, fiddler Andre Brunet formerly of the equally renowned La Bottine Souriante, who fits like a glove, allowing the combo to use a twin fiddle attack in front of its guitar (or bouzouki), diatonic accordion (or piano) and hurdy-gurdy. And “attack” is just the right term – they groove their originals and the dance-focused traditional music of Quebec hard with an almost rock ‘n’ roll sensibility. Track 1, reviving Samuel de Champlain’s ideal of the Canadian melting pot, gets the album off to a flying start. Then track 2 starts up, and the energy level stays at a peak. For the more introspective side of Le Vent Du Nord, try track 4. And 10 is almost a suite in 4:29, incorporating the full range of the combo’s skills. The only percussion instrument on this album is feet stomping on wood, and I’ll wager your feet will be stomping along with this propulsive, dynamic band.