The sonic qualities of Mathieu's lead guitar and Guy's accompaniment, along with their more relaxed tempos, give the listener a more contemplative space to appreciate what I've always considered the enigmatic beauty of these melodies. The older Gaspesian fiddle music doesn't tend to follow the more predictable melodic contours and harmonies of 20th century fiddle music and the two guitars work perfectly to highlight the unusual and unique contours of the music. It was a joy to put this CD on the stereo and get lost in the sounds, expertly recorded, mixed, and mastered by Ike Barsalou in Gaspé. It felt like I was getting to hear this music from somewhere new and fresh and appreciate just how special these old melodies are.
There are sixteen tracks of guitar duets on this new album. All the selections are drawn from fiddlers around the Coast, much the material learned from various archival collections. In fact, there are a few tunes from Erskine Morris and others that have been mentioned on this blog: Bill Lucas, James Henry Conley, Cyril Devouge, and Tunny Hottot. As well, Guy and Mathieu have also been learning music from other Gaspesian families from the north shore and Baie des Chaleurs region of the Coast: Anglehart, Chouinard, Denis, Francoeur, Keighan, LeBreux, Mimeault, Riffou, and Richard. As such, the CD is also a wonderful cross-section of older Gaspesian fiddle repertoire from a wide swath of different communities across the Coast. The beautiful cover design comes from their friend and fellow musician Eric Bond.You can listen and download or order this CD on their Bandcamp page.