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CD review

The four singers / musicians of Cochon Bleu must have listened a lot to songs from Québec, Acadie and Louisiana to be able to bring what can be heard on this CD. Because it is surprising that those nice gentlemen are not from America or Canada, but are from Groningen. However, they have mastered this music and also that particularly striking statement of American French, that you can hardly believe that they are people from here. The now four-piece band (previously they were five) released their sixth CD at the end of 2013. Some crazy French lyrics that, with a few exceptions, were all written by themselves to a varied music that sounds strongly cajun. Comeaux le malheureux and Danse de la lune seem to come straight from Louisiana. On other songs it seems as if La Bottine Souriante has thrown his brass players. Cochon Bleu sounds just as cheerful as La Bottine Souriante. All four members, three Gubbels brothers and Jeroen de Jong who play the accordion and Höfner bass, sing along, alternately as lead vocal or as backing vocal. That variety in the vocals makes it really folk and festive. In addition to accordion and drums, acoustic, electric and slide guitar, banjo and mandolin are played. Occasionally also what is called "ti fer" (small iron) in cajun music, known here as a triangle. When listening to, for example, Lacassine Special, Parce que je t'ai dit or Perdu, I still have a hard time to believe that they really are Dutch. But what does it matter. This is great music that can help you get rid of a depressed mood better than any medication.

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Because of the polyphony in the music and the pleasure with which the music is brought, it reminds one of the Texan band The Gourds and De Kift in the performance. In between, the gentlemen talk the parts of the performance together with humor. Supposedly spontaneously devised, the downloadable 'bonus tracks' will also be passed at the end, with the last song being the only song in the set, not sung in French, but in English. It is a nice addition, but the party folk of the group have already created the party mood that is appropriate for the release of the new record. The very best has already passed.

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