Terre Rouge (Les Editions Du Corfus, 2015)
Canadian trio Vishtèn celebrates the musical traditions of Prince Edward Island and the francophone Magdalen Islands on their new album titled Terre Rouge (Red Earth). The group plays a fabulous mix of toe-tapping Acadian ballads, Celtic music and excursions into other territories such as Cajun music.
Although the lyrics are in French, most of the musical arrangements are inspired by contemporary Irish Celtic music with the use of Irish whistles, bodhran, and Scots-Irish fiddle. The Acadian flavor appears in the form of fascinating foot percussion and jaw harp.
The musical selection includes originals by Vishtèn, traditional pieces a Cajun song that celebrates the connection with southern Louisiana which is where many Acadians resettled.
All three members of the band are masterful multi-instrumentalists, creating a rich, deep sound and impressive acoustic interplay that sounds like a larger band.
The lineup on Terre Rouge includes Pastelle LeBlanc on lead vocals, accordion, piano, mandolin and bass synthesizer; Emmanuelle LeBlanc onlead vocals, whistles, octave mandolin, piano, bodhrán, jaw harp, foot percussion, and bass synth; and Pascal Miousse on lead vocals, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. Eloi Painchaud makes a guest appearance on guitar and vocals.
Terre Rouge is a splendid album that showcases the striking musical traditions and cross-fertilization of francophone Maritime Canada.
Find out more about the group in this recent interview by our contributor Patricia Herlevi: Songs of the Red Earth
The digital album is available on iTunes. A CD version with album notes, lyrics and photos is also available.