As promised here is the first Beausoleil Broussard album from Nova Scotia 1976. This album is more folkloric and simple, almost the whole of side 1 to me is fast-forward material, pockmarked by a load of choreiform folk jigs and assorted folks songs which some might appreciate but I am not too partial to (apologies to those who differ). At the end of the side however a nice folk-rock track called "Restons la terre est belle" (Let's stay the earth is beautiful) sung by the wonderful Isabelle Roy talks about the history of the namesake. In fact inside the gatefold a little blurb elucidates the meaning of the title: "Joseph Broussard, named Beausoleil, was one of the chiefs of a movement that conducted by sea first through the Antilles, then from there to the country of the Bayous, hundreds of prisoners either from the ancient fort of Beausejour or from the camps of Halifax. The boat that served for these adventures was torn from the hands of the English during a mutiny organised by him, at the moment of the deportation."
Right, and I think that clears it all up.
At any rate, it seems from the lyrics the album is a kind of document song cycle about the adventures of Beausoleil.
The second side is more varied and interesting. Track 2 starts promisingly with a gorgeous 1700 minuet on harpsichord and flute, unfortunately it segues into the shrieky babbling fiddle music again. The next song "La femme de l'ivrogne" (The wife of the drunk) is a conversation song between these two typecast protagonists, and in my opinion well worth listening to, beginning to end. There is nothing unconventional about the lyrics, with the usual platitudes about the wife's role and the man's role presumably from the point of view of the 18th century. A complete lack of irony makes this very typical of 70s music. Ignore the lyrics though, the melody and acoustic guitars are sublime. Here the balance between traditional song and pop is absolutely spot-on perfect.
Next track starts with organ (the acoustic or church kind) "Les vepres et le reel..." before tragically moving into the fiddles again. This album as well closes out with two amazing compositions, Mouvange, an instrumental with wordless singing, and La revanche des berceaux (Revenge of the cribs -- great title).
Again the masterpiece sits at the very end of the album, with some ingenious chord changes and such intense emotional singing on the part of Isabelle as to give me chills up my spine. As well note how artistically the two acoustic guitars play off each other, strumming different arpeggios and melodies behind her voice with the occasional cymbal crash providing really intense drama.
The wife of the drunk--
Revenge of the cribs--