Blou Blanc Rouge!
(A l'Infini, 2003)
Blou Blanc Rouge! is the third CD from Blou. The music is a mixture of traditional Acadian music and other styles. The CD ranges in tone and emotion, sometimes serious, other times just having fun. It also ranges in pace, moving from fast to slow to suit the song.
Blou consists of Patrice Boulianne (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, accordion and keyboard), Jacques Livernoche (backing vocals, drums and percussion), Kevan Corbett (back vocals, acoustic guitar, electric bass and gazoo) and Dillon Robicheau (backing vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo and washboard). They were joined by Dave MacIsaac and Chris Church (fiddle) and Danny Martin, Mitch LeBlanc and Rick Waychesko (brass), as well as Claire Comeau and Ronald Bourgeois, who add backing vocals to a few songs.
The CD begins with the passion and energy of "Two Step en Acadie." They follow that up with "Rue Kent Stomp," which has plenty of drive and a nice touch of occasional quirkiness. "Je suis Acadie" is a tribute to their roots, and at the end, it branches out to embrace the listener. The banjo gives "Oh Chere" a bluegrass sound and is integral to the song. The traditional "Boire du Rhum" is a simple call and response song that displays the power of Blou's voices. They slow down to give "Quand les homes vivront d'amour" its emotional intensity. There is a rough edge to the fiddle at the beginning of "Maman Rosin," but once the song gets going, that edge adds to the energy.
Horns bring out the swing in "U.J. Stomp," and the accordion fits in like it always belonged there. Blou throw a bunch of ad taglines together in "Raisin Bran," ending up with a silly bit of fun. "La voix du large" is a powerful, beautiful song. "Pour Eve" is a love song and a dance for two that finishes with a flourish. It flows gracefully into "La colline," also a love song full of longing and desire.
There is a touch of melancholy in "Bientot," and the percussion adds a bit of rock to the song. "Tu le ton son ton (tous les temps en temps)" is a fun, energetic dance where the music sets the tone, and the lyrics join in for the ride. They repeat "Two Steps en Acadie" in English, and it is the perfect place to finish.
Where there may be the odd rough spot on Blou Blanc Rouge!, the rest of the time, Blou are doing their thing, making this CD well worth the listen. While you may or may not understand the lyrics (they sing all but the last song in French), you should have no difficulty understanding the heart of each song.