Beausoleil

Encore, Encore!! The Best of Beausoleil: 1991-2001

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This 19-track disc draws from six albums issued by BeauSoleil on Rhino from 1991-2001, although the last of those records, 2001's Looking Back Tomorrow: BeauSoleil Live!, is represented by just one song. It's a satisfying overview of the band's recorded work during that decade, filling the needs of those who just want one or two albums by the group in their collections. It's also apt to be one of the more accessible Cajun records to a general audience that doesn't specialize in the music, due to the relative diversity and modernity of the approach in comparison to many other Cajun outfits. Singing in both French and (less often) English, the selection encompasses some traditional material, but more often original compositions that add some rock, R&B, Western swing, and Cuban spices. There are also some high-profile guest spots from Richard Thompson, whose biting guitar work is especially identifiable on "Conja (New Orleans 1786)," and Mary Chapin Carpenter, who adds vocals to "Quelle Belle Vie" and "Chanson Pour Ezra." BeauSoleil's not the kind of act that's likely to ever have a crossover hit, but if they did it would most likely be something like the rollicking, bluesy "Can't You See (Tu Va Voir)," co-written by Augie Meyers, who guests on piano and vocal.

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