Grand Derangement,
Danse dans les Flammes
(self-produced, 2000)

Grand Derangement. Variable translation: A Great Disturbance! And the CD title literally means dancing in the flames; it's an accurate testament to the spirit of this CD.

I have watched this band perform on stage and they expended such a high degree of energy, I wondered if they could pull it off on a recording.

They come together from small villages in the southwestern part of Nova Scotia, these young Acadian musicians complemented by lively dancers, and are creating a new tradition while maintaining a strong connection to their musical roots.

Danse dans les Flammes consists mainly of songs and reels. Though my ear wasn't quick enough to comprehend the French lyrics at first, the words are in the liner notes and I read them through at leisure. As might be expected, the language is filled with sensitivity and sensuality that overflows into the music and celebrates the vitality of life with youthful energy and emotion.

That's not to say there isn't maturity in their playing. This band has evolved into a finely tuned professional group derived from the initial concept of group fiddler Daniel LeBlanc and expanded upon by artistic director Michel Thibault. Their imagination and dedication have delivered a great second album.

Although there are strong Acadian musical images, the band tries to project universal appeal through lyrics and rhythms. Especially touching is the refrain in "Je suis content." It flows: "Je suis humain, j'habite la terre et ses quatre coins. Je suis Latin, je suis Indian, je suis European, Africain, Americain. Oui, je suis une vrai citoyen de la terre et je suis content." Roughly translated: "I'm human, I live on the four corners of the world; I'm Latin, Indian, European, African, American. Yes, I'm a true citizen of this earth and I am content." The lyrics are simple, but in French they sound so smooth.

At times the tempo and sound have the intensity of the Acadians' cousins of the southeastern USA, the Cajuns. I especially like the track that had a touch of blues and I really liked the range of movement in the whole CD. I think it's definitely a dancer's album in that way.

Musically, there's not a thing amiss on this CD. It's polished, professional and features fine music. Forget the French lyrics; the sound and energy are fantastic. As close as the CD comes to capturing the fire of this group, I can say it's prime. But if you can see them live, go to it.

[ by Virginia MacIsaac ]
Rambles: 13 April 2002