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  • Artist: Mistral
  • UPC: 884502553840
  • Item #: SRD255384
  • Genre: International
  • Release Date: 9/7/2010
  • This product is a special order
  • Rank: 1000000000
Price: $20.69
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Promontory on CD

Sometimes, music just grabs you. There is no explanation for the hold it takes on your heart and spirit. This is how it was for me when I first heard the music of Brittany. Simple and complete capture. Living in the Pacific Northwest, a place more famous musically for Folk Punk (think banjos and tatoos) and Grunge Guitar, exploring Breton traditional music required creativity and tenacity. Before a wealth of obscure musical subcultures were readily accessible on YouTube and iTunes, I was given what felt like an archaeological mission to delve into used vinyl record stores and small-venue concerts. I unearthed albums by Malicorne, Alan Stivell, and the trio Bourdin-Marchand-Dautel. I received cassette tapes, copies of copies from people who had recorded the Breton Fest Noz years ago on a visit. An over-photocopied tune collection hand-written by Patrick Sicard somehow made it into my hands. I was even lucky enough to be introduced to Christian LeMaitre by Kevin Burke after a Celtic Fiddle Festival concert here, in Portland. Piece by piece, I built my repertoire. Now, to convince other musicians to join me. Actually, it didn't take long. I met Elizabeth Christina after I joined the Bridgetown Morris Men. She and I played music for the lads' seasonal capers and soon discovered that we had a similar affinity for the rhythmic, mysterious music that could be found in the hidden vales and hills of Western Europe. Elizabeth comes from an impressive musical background and her solid stage presence and thorough understanding of music made performing an instant delight. We soon added the talented Bryan Owens playing the guitar and octave mandolin. Bryan has lived a minstrel's life, traveling around Europe and New Zealand, honing is impressive skills with musicians of all kinds. His ear for rhythm and keen sense of ensemblizing music is unsurpassed. Together, we formed Mistral, taking our name for the Northwest wind that blows through central France. We've assembled a collection of music on our first album, Promontory, which represents what we love best about traditional music. There are exciting and rhythmic Breton dance tunes (An Dro de Brandivy, Surefoot set), yearning maritime songs in French (Nous Sommes Marins, Au Caboulot les Gars), old English ballads full of soul (Barleycorn), and original tunes straight from my own heart and pen (Grey Birds of Winter, Le Crecerelle). The entire project was recorded, mixed, and mastered by the Grammy-winning producer and amazing fiddler, Billy Oskay. Promontory is the result of our long journey to discover and master the great music of Brittany and other points of Atlantic Europe. We are proud and delighted to share it with you. -Ian Clemons Mistral: Ian Clemons: Diatonic Accordion (Bernard Loffet D/G), Fiddle, Hurdy-Gurdy, Voice. Elizabeth Christina: Accordion, Wooden Flute, Recorders, Renaissance Drum, Douçaine, Voice. Bryan Owens: Guitar and Octave Mandolin.