by Jeff Becker
Intoxicatingly breezy with a Brazilian continental vibe, the latest album by Veronneau is a breathtaking listen through a program of five originals and splendid classics by the likes of Jimmy Webb and Serge Gainsbourgh, all seamlessly blended together for an exhilarating listen.
Lynn Veronneau the groups vocalist traverses each tune with an honest and organic feeling, nothing contrived or overdone, just the right amount of finesse and style to make each tune feel timeless. Veronneau is also quite versed in multiple languages and this is never more present than on Love & Surrender, featuring English, Portuguese, Spanish and French dialects each is represented with an authenticity. Backing this delightful vocalist is the core group of: Ken Avis: guitar, backing vocals and harmonica and David Rosenblatt: guitar. This is the fundamental sound of Veronneau, on this album the trio is joined by Bruno Lucini: drums, percussion, Dave Kline: violin with special guests: Etu Dieng: electric bass on “Song of Love,” “Love & Surrender,” Tom King: accordion on “La Javanaise,” “Perfidia” Amadou Kouyate, Kora: Senegalise 21 string traditional harp on “Love & Surrender,” John Previti: upright bass on “The Road,” “Love and Surrender,” “La Javanaise,” “September Moon,” JP Silva: 7 string acoustic guitar and vocals on “Voce Abuso/Fais Comme L’Oiseau.”
“La Javaniase,” was principally striking, Lynn Veronneau is French Canadian, and this tune honors her strongest qualities as a vocalist. Her lightly refreshed vocal quality fits nicely beside the delicate acoustic sounds of Avis and Rosenblatt, both are expertly adept at fingerstyle acoustic guitar. Joined by violinist Kline and accordionist Tom King, you feel yourself transporting to a roadside café, where your Francophile soul is fed with a most scrumptious joyful sound.
Switching gears another delightful cut on the album is the Spanish tune “Perfidia,” a song written by Alberto Domínguez, a Mexican composer and arranger born in the state of Chiapas, about love and betrayal, which fits perfectly into the albums theme. Once again joined by violinist Kline, who colorizes the track, along with percussionist Bruno Lucini and Tom King who once again flavors the track with eloquent accents to uplift the tracks simmering propulsion.
Veronneau has honed their sound and seem to firmly know their musical identity. The group has created an album that you will find yourself turning back to many times. Its easy on the ears, warming to the heart, and has an indefinable, elusive quality. Can we say, Je Ne Sais Quoi. Well done, and highly recommended.