There's an old-fashioned French tradition of the artist as a sort of do-it-yourself craftsman, close to the earth, carefully fashioning his work out of simple, available materials. That's Pere Figueres, a singer-poet who performs in the Catalonian language of southwestern France. The subject matter of his songs are trees, birds and love, the sort of pastoral life cycle material that was common a century ago. Yet this "square" material produces a powerful impact in the hands of Pere Figueres who gives each piece a particular resonance within this traditional world-view. "Where have the mule drivers/and the harvest songs gone?" sings Pere Figueres in "The Old Path". "They will be revived in my ardent poem/Like an echo in a dream". That says it all about this highly appealing album. -Aaron Howard
(MODAL Pleinjeu, La Falourdiere, 79380 St. Jouin-de-Milly, France)
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