Daniel asks for more information about the album "The Orange
Tree" by Grey Larsen and Andre Marchand. I agree that the album is
wonderful. Since I live Bloomington, Indiana, and see Grey quite
a bit, I'll try to fill in some info. Grey grew up in Cincinnati and
went to music school at Oberlin. He got interested in Irish music when
he was in high school and learned to play flute at sessions in Cincinnati.
He and Malcolm Dalglish got together in the mid-70s and played as a duo
(and later under the name Metamora) until I think 1989. Their album
Thunderhead, produced by Micheal O'Domhnaill and with guest spots by
O'Domhnaill and Kevin Burke, is maybe their best work together.
Dalglish plays mostly hammered dulcimer, and Larsen plays flute,
concertina, whistles, guitar, keyboards, and a few more.
Andre Marchand grew up in Quebec and still lives there. He
sings, plays guitar, and uses his feet on a board in front of him,
sometimes all at the same time. He is best known for his work
with La Bottine Souriante. A couple of years ago Grey and Andre
both found themselves at loose ends musically, and they decided to
try teaming up. They get over the difficulties of living far away
from each other partly by having compatible home recording studios,
and exchanging tapes through the mail. It kind of makes since now
that Canada and the US have a free trade agreement, doesn't it?
(Oops, that's SENSE, not SINCE.)
The Orange Tree is their first album, and consists mostly
of French-Canadian songs and Irish tunes. They recorded most of
it at Grey's studio here. I was fortunate to be able to visit
Grey and Andre as they were finishing up the album and again
as they were beginning to tour. They are great at a session as
well as on CD!
Am I biased towards liking this album? You bet. I play
in the band Reel to Reel with Grey, so I hear his flute and
concertina a lot, and I've grown to really appreciate his playing.
I think that The Orange Tree is the best work he has done in
20 years of full-time touring and recording.
--Rick Gagne ([log in to unmask])