This is Louisiana music, so it might not come as a surprise to anyone that it opens with a song about floods, “Water, Water.” This original number has a delightful Cajun vibe, but also a good solid country rock sound. Yeah, it’s a fun track, and features – as you’d expect – some nice work on fiddle. “Water here, water there/Water, water, water everywhere/No land here, no land there.” Chad Huval plays accordion on this track. Sarah Dugas and Andrina Turenne provide some backing vocals. That’s followed by a cover of Boozoo Chavis’ “Lula Lula Don’t You Go To Bingo.” Michael Doucet’s rendition has a strong beat that I love, and also something of a southern rock style. I also really like Sarah Quintana’s vocal work. Chad Huval contributes some wonderful work on accordion. In addition to all that, this track includes horns. So, yeah, this is a fun version. Then “Dites Moi Pas” has a sweeter, pretty sound right from the start, with that nice work on fiddle. This is an original song, sung in French, and having a comforting, beautiful, friendly vibe. It features some wonderful work on fiddle, especially during that lead section halfway through. Following that section, Sarah Quintana takes over on lead vocals, and the song somehow becomes even prettier.
Can a Louisiana album exist without at least some mention of Mardi Gras? I’m not sure. On this disc, Michael Doucet gives us “Walking On A Mardi Gras Day,” which is certainly not your typical Mardi Gras song. This is a slower, moodier, darker, more somber song than you’d expect, and it’s pretty damn cool. “Listening to that brass band, they sure can play.” This one was written by Michael Doucet and Susan Werner. “Abandonne” also has a more solemn feel, with some gorgeous and moving work on fiddle. The vocals don’t come in until more than halfway through, and then when they do, they have a haunting and deep sound, the lyrics sung in French. This is an excellent and engaging vocal performance. And then when Sarah’s gorgeous vocals join the violin toward the end, I am mesmerized. It is like a beckoning to the other side. This is a tremendous piece of music, one of my favorite tracks. That’s followed by a cover of “Bad Woman,” a track with a totally cool vibe, a gypsy sound that I love. “That bad woman, that bad woman, that bad woman took my heart and she threw the pieces away.”
Michael Doucet then returns to more upbeat Cajun fare with “Marie Catin,” an original song to get you on the dance floor, the delicious fiddle work prominent. That’s followed by a cover of Bobby Charles’ “He’s Got All The Whiskey,” which has a nice, dark, bluesy sound from the start. Then the fiddle rises above that cool bluesy base. The backing vocals echoing “He’s got all the power” give the track a bit of a gospel vibe. Then Michael Doucet delivers a wonderful cover of “Chere Emelie” that features some great percussion. Michael Doucet plays mandolin on this track. That’s followed by “Cajun Gypsy,” which begins with a beautiful string section performed by Turtle Island Quartet (David Balakrishnan on violin, Alex Hargreaves on violin, Benjamin von Gutzeit on viola, and Malcolm Parson on cello). This instrumental track takes a turn nearly halfway through toward gypsy jazz, and then more toward country for a moment. The disc then concludes with an extended version of “Lula Lula Don’t You Go To Bingo,” approximately a minute longer than the first version.
CD Track List
- Water, Water
- Lula Lula Don’t You Go To Bingo
- Dites Moi Pas
- Walking On A Mardi Gras Day
- Bad Woman
- Marie Catin
- He’s Got All The Whiskey
- Chere Emelie
- Cajun Gypsy
- Lula Lula Don’t You Go To Bingo (Extended Version)
Lâcher Prise was released on both CD and vinyl on February 14, 2020 through Compass Records (the vinyl version does not include the extended version of “Lula Lula Don’t You Go To Bingo”).