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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Le Vent Du Nord

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published July 18, 2008

Dans Les Airs

For the last 30 years, La Bottine Souriante has defined traditional Québecois music for most people, but more recently, the second most well-known group, particularly outside the province of Québec, has been Le Vent Du Nord. With its third album Dans Les Airs, the quartet has recruited a new accordion player (Réjean Brunet, replacing Benoit Bourque)—a change in personnel that probably accounts for the stronger presence here of the hurdygurdy, which today is an unusual instrument in Québecois music, taking less of a lead role than in the past. To add some contrast to the mostly jubilant Québecois material, the group offers several bittersweet Acadian songs, and the album closes with a wonderful turlutte—the French- Canadian version of mouth music. Dans Les Airs doesn’t reveal a bold new sound, but it’s certainly one that’s been honed to perfection. After winning a slew of prestigious awards (including Canada’s Juno for 2004’s Maudite Moisson!), Le Vent Du Nord are undoubtedly poised to win another one here.