Christine Albert has
brought together her love of Texas with her French roots and has come up
with an album that is sure to be favored by more adventurous Americana
listeners. Paris, Texafrance (Moonhouse
Records) is an album full of great country, bluegrass, and folk,
some of it sounding like it comes from a time long gone and yet still
very familiar to anyone who listens to these styles.
What I get out of this album is a sense of roots and family. When Albert
sings in French she does so with honor. When she sings in English she
does so with grace, and one can imagine every cowboy and businessman
saluting her because she may remind them of home. Her music sounds
familiar and warm, and perhaps those who have seeked her music for the
last few years come to hear just for those reasons. Imagine a mix of
Linda Ronstadt and Barbara Mandrell and you have a good sense
of what Albert is capable of doing, but in her own unique way. The songs
themselves are a diverse selection of songs that have a common thread
running through, all of them chosen because they meant something to
Albert, whether it was a song that reminded her of her grandmother or
citing a song like "The French Song" (recorded by Lucille Starr)
that became a surprise international hit. Each show a love of her
culture, but the country flair adds a unique quality to these songs.
When the direct approach is taken, it also works extremely well, as it
does in her rendition of a song Edith Piaf made famous, "Chante
Moi". Albert handles it with a lot of conviction, and even if like
myself you don't speak French, you can sense the sorrow and longing of
some of these songs which have been brought back to life, or perhaps the
old wardrobe has been replaced by the new.
I hope Paris, Texafrance brings to Albert a lot of attention for
this very bold project. In a live setting, it would be great if she was
able to have former Duhks singer Jessee Havey sit in on a
song or two. It is Americana at its best, and I hope people who like
good down home music will appreciate this for the masterpiece it will
become in the next ten to twenty years.