Frenching America

If you're like me, you always wondered a little bit about where the Cajuns in Louisiana came from. A while back, I looked it up. Cajuns moved down to Louisiana from Canada. They were originally Acadians. Their music was Acadian. They spoke French.

Yves Lambert Trio
Laissez Courir Les Chiens
(La Pruche Libre)
Generations in Louisiana deep fried both their dialects and their music. But there is still an Acadian tradition in Quebec, and Yves Lambert taps into that and many other North American folk styles. He's been recording for decades, and chances are this isn't his greatest album ever. But for those wondering where certain styles of music that we think of as "American" came from, he's happy to show.

Or play, really. This is another side to the americana coin, and a most enjoyable one at that. There are a few rhythms (and accordion riffs) that most folks would think of as Cajun, but Lambert is expansive in his use of influences. He makes three references when one will do.

I know so little about Lambert's career (and even less French) that I can't make an educated judgment on the overall quality of this set. But it does pique my curiosity, and I can say that the more I hear it, the more I am able to dig deeper.

Fully engaging, this set wraps the listener into a web that quickly becomes inescapable. Not that you'd want to be freed, of course. Some traps are pleasure domes.

Jon Worley

return to A&A home page