Paul Monette

File la Laine, File les Jours

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When he is not busy playing foot-stomping Québec folk music with his group, La Veillée Est Jeune, guitarist Paul Monette sits down with his classical guitar. File la Laine, File les Jours is his second solo CD and was self-released in late 2001. The set list mixes traditional tunes of French origins ("Isabeau S'y Promène," "Le Long de Son Jardin," "La Poule à Collin"), instrumental reworkings of songs by Québec and French singer/songwriters (Guy Béart, Félix LeClerc, Charles Aznavour), and original compositions. No fireworks or artifices: Monette doesn't want to dazzle you with technique or update his repertoire with flavors of the month. This is honest, highly pleasing classical guitar, gracefully performed and beautifully recorded. Thanks to engineer Larry O'Malley, the instrument conveys warmth and intimacy. Monette's writing draws from medieval airs and French chanson. Maybe it lacks some originality or a couple of trademark tricks that would give his pieces a recognizable character (like Gordon Giltrap's, for instance), but they please the ear and trigger an immediate sense of familiarity ("Suite Beauvoir 6" stands out). The music on File la Laine, File les Jours flows easily, unimposing, friendly. And sometimes that's just all it needs to be.