Words by Tim Cumming
Genticorum’s four previous albums confirmed them as one of Québec’s most vibrant, energetic and exciting groups. They have developed a strong live reputation, and their fifth album draws on that stage presence to deliver a truly energising set, recorded at a home-town gig in Farnham, eastern Québec. From the opening chanson à répondre (call-and-response song) of ‘Le Forgeron’, you can tell that all three members – Pascal Gemme (fiddle, vocals and stomping), Yann Falquet (guitar and vocals) and Alexandre de Grosbois-Garand (flute, fiddle and vocals) are at the top of their game.
This is a joyous, hugely energetic, driving album. It ramps up what you’ve heard on previous studio records to a new level of energy and dexterity. It sounds like three times the amount of musicians are up there, not just a trio, and the pulse of the beat and the wild escapologist fiddle playing on the pounding opener ‘Le Forgeron’ is thrilling. Across the set’s 11 songs, you’ll find eerie three-part a capella harmonies voyaging across major and minor keys in ‘Déline’ and even a paean to a backwoods Québec dish of Canada goose cooked in wine in the instrumental ‘Loutarde au Vin’. All in all, it’s lip-smackingly good.
TRACK TO TRY: Le Forgeron