The Skinny: Auprès du Poêle — around the stove. That’s the vibe on this most excellent collection of Acadian folk music from the Canadian trio Ten Strings and a Goat Skin. Karen Gallant’s charming cover art is reminiscent of Marc Chagall. The group have been nominated for a Juno award.
Sounds like: Lunasa, Afro Celt Sound System, Vishtèn, BeauSoleil
Deeper Thoughts: Their live show is a history lesson in traditional northeast-Canadian folk culture. Their style ranges from whirling Scots-Celtic rhythms to the bluegrass-infused Acadian fiddling tradition of French Canada to wicked Cajun zydeco grooves. (turns out the word “Cajun” was boiled down from “Acadian…” Who knew?) On this CD, Rowen Gallant on fiddle, Jesse Periard on acoustic guitar and Caleb Gallant on bodhran (an Irish frame drum) and floor-stomper, will be right at home around your hfi.
The Sonics: The production and engineering team of Leonard Pololak and Mark Busic have done an estimable job capturing and recreating the energy and vibe this trio creates in performance. The mix places each performer in a well-defined place in the soundstage. And there is a surprisingly satisfying low-frequency thump generated by Caleb’s drum & stomper combo. This is well-produced folk music.