Gilles Sioui

Gilles C. Sioui & the Midnight Riders

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After almost 20 years of career as a sideman, Canadian guitarist Gilles Sioui released his first solo album in 1997. It was a self-released CD titled Gilles C. Sioui & the Midnight Riders pressed at 1,100 copies which sold out through hearsay and backstage sales. In June 2000, Productions BYC, the label that would release his next album Rising Sun, gave this first offering a legitimate release. Recorded in a kitchen with friends, the album has the feeling of a 1970s J.J. Cale record: an intimate playing-on-the-porch mood which compensates for the lack of better facilities. The Native-tinged "Wendat Land" opens the album with a simple acoustic guitar pattern and heartfelt vocals. "I Wanna Know" is a fast blues-rock number with an almost Latin touch that recalls Santana, while "I Might Be Going Wrong" is a heartbreaking slow blues number and "Kabir Kouba" an instrumental guitar trio with once again Native roots. The album reaches its climax with "Bound for a Change (Letter to Dolly)," a beautiful acoustic song in the range of J.J. Cale and early Neil Young, definitely the strongest number of this set. As a first taste of Sioui's talent, this CD sure served its purpose, even though it fired in many directions. The guitarists talent (and his voice) would settle in the beautiful album Rising Sun.

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