France Bluegrass Actualité

Winding Road, album by Glenn Arzel & Claire Nivard.


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Winding Road, CD de Glenn Arzel & Claire Nivard.
 Winding Road, CD de Glenn Arzel & Claire Nivard. 


This news is the first album review on, and it is not so easy to be objective if you already know and appreciate the artists.

So I will not even try and I'll just write what has been on my mind for a while  now :

Blown away !

I already knew that Glenn & Claire loved beautiful things, created with care. Now I have the proof that they can push this idea very far.

Nice simbiosis of music and singing, always with a right balance, both helping to tell a beautiful story.

As you can see, I'm enthusiastic, but I cannot leave you with that, so I'll tell you more.

The colours of the sound

Glenn sings, plays acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, banjo, octave mandolin, organ and piano.

Claire sings (marvelously) and plays acoustic guitar.

You will find influences of old time music, folk, country or celtic traditions, and more, because these artists are obviously creative ones and they love what they do.

So they invited a few friends, among them Manu Bertrand (dobro and a little  pedal steel guitar), Jean-Félix Pelosse (upright bass), and Pierre-Marie Bommier (violin)...

Short video about the album, in French.

If you had to choose three among ten

- An unusual version of Darling Corey, on a good ostinato. This gives this old song a new and really interesting look.

- Polly's Secret (composition), this strange story will change the murder song cliché forever. The bass player is really efficient.

- Fancy Color in the Sky (composition), a really nice instrumental, the musicians have fun and you can hear it. This tune is catchy, I would not be surprised to hear it in jams soon.

The recording and mixing are exceptional, precise and really well balanced.

Ah, one last thing : listening to this album on a smartphone or computer speakers would be considered a crime against good taste. High Fidelity, decidedely !

- Wait, wait ! It's a whole album, isn't there a single thing you dislike ?

Yes. A nature sound in the beginning of a song that puzzled me for a few seconds, but the feeling disappeared with the first notes and words.

Glenn Arzel & Claire Nivard, Lyon, France. Photo Emmanuel Marin.
Glenn Arzel & Claire Nivard, Lyon, France. Photo Emmanuel Marin.
Le duo en concert.
Le duo en concert.
Avec Jean-Félix Pelosse à la contrebasse et Manu Bertrand au dobro. Photo Roger Lyobard.
Avec Jean-Félix Pelosse à la contrebasse et Manu Bertrand au dobro. Photo Roger Lyobard.

Short interview

Ti' Pierre : How much time to record the whole album ?

Glenn Arzel : The whole recording took us almost a year. We wanted this album to be fully produced, with arrangements and more musicians, so we had to adjust with everyone's agenda. And we had to slow down because of the confinement. We produce and fund ourselves, so it can take a little more time.

TP : Glenn, if you ha to stay on a desert island with one and only one instrument, wich one would you choose ?

GA : Ahhh this question hurts ! lol. I think I would take the guitar. This one is perfect for melodies and harmony, popular and rich at the same time. And I write with the guitar, so the choice is made.

TP : Claire, which song has been on your mind for the longest time ?

Claire Nivard : The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel, maybe because it was the first folk song to really catch me, with vocal harmonies and this acoustic guitar sound.

TP : Why "Glenn Arzel & Claire Nivard" and why not "Claire Nivard & Glenn
Arzel ?

GA : It sounds best. And, you know, we keep the best for the end :-) 

The album can be purchased starting from September 1rst on Glenn Arzel's website or Claire Nivard's website.

This delicate opus was recorded in Studio L'artisterie, Villeurbanne (69), Thibaud Pick sound engineer.

In 2018, Glenn & Claire issued an EP, Evening Songs. You can discover it on Bandcamp.

Next concerts in France

- 04/12/20 Auditorium de Chaponost (69).
- 28/01/21 Salle Isléa à Avermes (03).
- 29/01/21 Centre Social Christine Brossier, 131 Chemin de la Madone, 42450 Sury-le-Comtal (42).
- 29/05/21 Festival American Journeys, Palais des Grottes, Bd Paul Bezin 59400 Cambrai.

This post was written by Ti' Pierre


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Par Coyotegrass
 le 30-08-2020 à 18:04
 - c'est quoi un ostinato? 
Par Ti' Pierre
 le 30-08-2020 à 19:14
 - Ostinato : Motif mélodique ou rythmique répété obstinément, généralement à la basse, d'une œuvre. :-) 

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