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Ville Emard Blues Band - Live au Festival des Musiques Progressives de Montréal 2007 CD (album) cover


Ville Emard Blues Band


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.04 | 6 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

As the reissue label ProgQuebec started their quest with VEBB's two albums, they also had the extreme pleasure to open their first FMPM in 2007 and had VEBB play for them. It seems that VEBB is now forever linked with PQ, but let's face it, there were only four of the dozen or so members that once played for the band that actually rose to the challenge, and no more than three at the same time. If Vallières and Dion played the whole concert, Gagnon and Séguin only played three tracks each and didn't overlap, but the rest of the group was made from younger musicians who more than picked up the slack and added the necessary energy into the mix, Gagnon bringing two members from his family and Séguin bringing his son.

Starting with the classic Octobre Au Mois De Mai, VEBB was playing it safe with the Quebecois public (obviously a hit with them), but it wasn't a sure fire strategy, because many of the crowd (coming from different continents) had never heard of the band or even understood French. One of the numbers that really broke the ice is the fantastic and brilliantly played Ste Mélanie Blues with some outstanding guitar works. Walter's Van with its strong Gong-Crimsison influence was another winner with the public, this leading the group into the free improv of Poireaux Névrosés (nervous-wrecked leeks) and later the great but XXXX Konky Donky, all three tracks with original bassist Bill Gagnon in the fold. As Gagnon left the stage, he was replaced with the legendary Séguin on percussion and the group launched itself in another excellent trilogy, although as you'd guess, a much more percussive one with Ambush, Strangle (with strong Santana accents) and the then-Quebecois cultural anthem Yama Nekh.

While most likely working on short notice, the VEBB line-up gels rather well, and it's a bit ironic that drummer Perrote now plays the concert, but had not joined the 70's adventure along with some more Contraction members. While I'm sure many of the attendance probably would choose another group as their fave from the FMPM07 line-up, I'm sure Stephen and Sean probably would say that VEBB was the most emotive and probably tore a few tears from their eyes. While a very good live album, with a new generation of musos paying dues to the VEBB heritage (that was THE Quebecois supergroup of back then), it is difficult to say that Live FMPM is more worthy than the first PQ release; but it's different, yet not as essential, but surely not from far!!

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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