Earlier this fall, I was lucky to again meet and see Le Vent du Nord (“The Wind from the North”) perform at The Sebastopol Celtic Festival, where fiddler Olivier Demers passed along to me their 2009 release La Part du Feu. While remaining firmly rooted in the Quebecois tradition, the band has matured and expanded its sound by incorporating elements of French, Celtic, jazz and pop music into this record. And it sounds GREAT.
Band members scour diverse sources for their material, from medieval texts to their own modern compositions. From Acadia to Brittany, Cape Breton to Maine, and of course their native Quebec, comes their spicy mix of pulsing dance tunes and nostalgic story-songs.
At a live show, the listener just can’t sit still while Olivier fiddles and pounds out the beat with his feet, Nicolas keeps his hurdy-gurdy happily buzzing, Réjean tickles his accordion, and Simon strums guitar. All four band members are multi-instumentalists that skillfully blend ancient elements with a modern sensibility. Quebecois call-and-respose vocals play a large part. I’m no expert on the music of Quebec, but it’s safe to say that Le Vent du Nord rules the roost up north. Fiddlefreak recommended!
Le Vent du Nord Is:
Simon Beaudry: Vocals, bouzouki, guitar
Nicolas Boulerice: Vocals, electroacoustic hurdy-gurdy, piano, piano accordion
Réjean Brunet: Basses, diatonic accordion, jaw harp, piano, vocals
Olivier Demers: Violin, guitar, foot-tapping, mandolin, vocals
LISTEN: Élise (MP3)
LISTEN: L’attente (MP3)