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Chris Norman: Beauty of the North

Album Notes

Chris Norman's second solo album focuses on the traditional music of Quebec and Maritime Canada, featuring sets of tunes organized by theme or region. Guitarist Robin Bullock, a frequent collaborator and fellow founding member of the world-folk group Helicon, joins him here, as do the Scots fiddler Alasdair Fraser, accordionist Billy McComiskey, and bassist Paul Wheaton. Although the Celtic influence is never far from the surface with this music, there is a directness about these Quebecois, especially the Cape Breton tunes, that sets them apart immediately -- while Irish and Scottish dance music often has a certain vinegary edge, melodies like "Reel Montreal" and "Banks of Newfoundland" are effortlessly and sweetly melodic. Norman seems born to play this music. His light, graceful style occasionally seems a little bit at odds with the Irish repertoire, but it fits perfectly into the music on this program. Highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson



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