Les Batinses,
(Mille-Pattes, 2000)

My fondness for French-Canadian music, first sparked by La Bottine Souriante, has increased with my introduction to Les Batinses.

The sextet from Quebec is made up of Christophe Garenc, Andree Bilodeau, Mathieu Girard, Fred Lebrasseur, Todd Picard and Francois Morrissette. All six are multi-instrumentalists, and all but percussionist Lebrasseur contribute vocals to the mix.

The music on Tripotages is stunning, blending the fiery energy one comes to expect from French-Canadian music with a variety of intriguing styles. Besides the ubiquitous Celtic influences, you'll find traces of jazz and even hints of Middle Eastern music on this album. The vocals are strong and emotive, the instrumentals are infectious and quite addictive.

French-Canadian music is a genre I'm only starting to explore, but quality like this will keep me at it. You should give it a try and see if it inspires you, too.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 18 May 2002

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