North Wind Blows West

a review by Jaime Murdoch

le Vent du NordOn Friday, April 5th Quebec’s Le Vent du Nord, four men who make beautiful music together without taking themselves too seriously, graced the stage at ArtSpring. It was plain to see that these men are musicians, performers, people who know themselves and know how to step into that knowing with confidence, whether in song, in story-telling, in banter, in laughter, or what have you. After eleven years spent together on the road they were able to conjure a very special night of entertainment. Salt Springers fell in love that night, getting a taste of Canadian culture, not like bacon or maple syrup or hockey, but of Quebec and of history and of joy in the moment.

Although the majority-anglophone audience could not make out the lyrical meaning of the songs that were performed in a raw Quebecoise accent, the messages were certainly not lost. It didn’t matter what was being sung or played, these men created an atmosphere of home. They sang like they were singing for family and told stories in between that tickled your soul. JaimeMurdochBeyond their collection instruments – piano, guitar, Irish bouzouki, acoustic bass, jaw harp, accordion, hurdy gurdy, and of course voice – was one special pair of feet for tapping along and keeping the pace. Each instrument created an element in the show, each so very necessary for the band’s full-bodied communication of joy. What a gift it was to witness their beautiful masculinity, one that is strong, balanced, and capable of sharing and allowing and speaking to the audience with a directness like no other.

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