Comparing this French Canadian trio’s first live album to some of its predecessors I start to wonder if I’ve always had reservations about the cleanness of their studio sound. It even begins to seem cowardly. The careful layer-upon-layer echo that you hear in a song like “Quand chus parti du Canada” from Nagez Rameurs is not here anymore. The way the fiddler jabs into the first note of “L’Outarde Au Vin” would probably have been softened if they weren’t making a point of going with an unpolished impression, and the singer wouldn’t have got away with that miniature gobble of slobber in “La Rouilette”. They would have lost those small things, but those small things suit them. The flute seems more poignantly important with a crowd in front of it. Performing in their native Quebec, they’ve got a relaxed rapport with their audience established before the album opens. They say a droll line in French, the people laugh, and they embark on one of the musical effects that French Canadian music knows and encourages, the tune made of foot-stomps, or a sung harmony, a Genticorum call and response that pulls itself away from a clear one-man statement into a three-way humming drawl. More live Genticorum would not be a bad thing.
Roues et Archets