Le Vent du Nord are currently celebrating their tenth year of existence. Quebec’s folk heroes, Le Vent du Nord (The North Wind), are back with Tromper le Temps (Fooling Time) on Borealis Records. This impressive set of original compositions and arrangements discusses Quebec’s tough past while tackling a range of subjects including dragons, imprisoned damsels, Winnebagos, hockey, and the reckless development of shale gas. The first track, “Lettre à Durham,” is a letter written to Mr. Durham who was sent by the British after the Rebellion of 1837-1839. He suggested that Upper Canada and Lower Canada merge together in an effort to assimilate French Canadians in the 19th century. Today the Québecois are still standing strong, holding on to their place in history. Hurdy-gurdy player and songwriter Nicolas Boulerice believes it’s important to bring historical subjects into contemporary, traditional music.
“We are part of 2012, just like everyone else. But we think we can bring historical things more into the day to day discussion, so we can talk about what happened in the past. That is why we have always been very close to historical subjects and images, because we play traditional music, music that is often connected to the separatist movement. We aren’t always talking explicitly or directly about the issues that matter to us; we always take the detour via history.” – Nicolas Boulerice
Tromper le Temps reveals the uptempo, high energy of a dance band mixed with the musicianship of an accomplished concert ensemble. These primarily acoustic tunes build with intensity thanks to the sawing and strumming of strings as well as some fine French-Canadian foot percussion. Le Vent du Nord includes Simon Beaudry (guitar, bouzouki, vocals), Nicolas Boulerice (hurdy-gurdy, piano, piano accordion, vocals), Réjean Brunet (accordion, basses, piano, jaw harp, vocals) and Olivier Demers (violin, foot percussion, mandolin, electric guitar, vocals). Watch the video for “Manteau d’Hiver” below and catch more terrific live videos on Le Vent du Nord’s youtube channel. Sample Tromper le Temps at bandcamp and pick it up wherever fine music is sold.