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World Music CD Reviews North American

Mauvais Sort

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published June 19, 2008

Mauvais Sort
Les Disques Anubis

This group, whose name refers to the casting of a spell, identifies the music on its self-titled fourth album as “folk ’n’ roll made in Québec,” and although the instrumentation (guitar, fiddle, accordion, and feet) has much in common with other traditional groups from “la belle province,” the album also features drums, which is where most of the “roll” part of the equation comes in.

Pared down from a sextet to a quartet with no striking reduction in intensity, the group delivers a repertoire that’s largely unknown outside of Canada, but still manages to breathe crackling new life into “À La Claire Fontaine,” a famous traditional song, and “Cauchemar,” a popular song from the early days of Québec icon Robert Charleboix. Add the ever-popular drinking ode and mix it in with tales of sorceresses and priests, and you’ll find that a wide swath of archetypal Québecois musical themes is covered here.