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World Music CD Reviews North American

BEAUSOLEIL avec MICHAEL DOUCET

By Paul-Emile Comeau

Gitane Cajun
Vanguard

After a couple of decades of being a high-profile and prolific Cajun band, Beausoleil took a five-year break from the studio. Now the group is back on a new label and the resulting album is one that should please Beausoleil's fans. As the title indicates, the group has come up with an evocative Cajun Gypsy sound, albeit only on a couple of instrumental tracks. Being original tunes, the connection is a bit tenuous, although it can be argued that the uprooting of the Acadians in 1755 did turn that group into something of a Gypsy culture. Half of the album features Michael Doucet originals, such as the cleverly titled "Me And Dennis McGee," while the rest consists of a few traditional songs ("Le Hack," "Moreau"), a couple of English songs, and material drawn from Cajun or Creole legends such as Lawrence Walker ("Lena Mae"), Boozoo Chavis ("Bye, Bye Jolie"), Canray Fontenot ("Malinda") and Sidney Brown. Gitane Cajun is what we have come to expect from this highly consistent group: a very appealing concoction of traditional and modern Cajun, zydeco, and swamp pop sounds.