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CHRISTINE ALBERT - PARIS, TEXAFRANCE    

3rd Coast Music    by John Conquest  (4 flowers)  May 2008

Whether thereís a real American market for chansons, or just for anything by the possessor of one of the best and purest female voices in Austin, is a moot point, either way, Albertís bilingual trilogy celebrating her French heritage is certainly idiosyncratic.

Third time round, the songbook of her heroine, Edith Piaf, is still dominant, with JíMíEn Fous Pas Mal , Chante-Moi, CíEst DíLa Faute A Tes Yeaux and Hymne A LíAmour, and she revisits Charles Trenet with Swing Troubadour and Yía De La Joie, but casts a very wide net for the rest of the album, which includes Lucille Starrís French Song, Nicolette Larsonís French Waltz and Une Prince En Avignon, which she got from a live Walt Hyatt recording, and he, presumably, lifted from Mary Hopkins (come on, you remember, or are still trying to forget, Those Were The Days, which, come to think, Hopkins also recorded in Frenchóand Italian, German and Spanish, eat your heart out, Christine).

Albert translated the Trenet songs and Jesse Winchesterís LíAir De La Louisiane from French to English, but reverses the process with Moon House artist Michael Austinís When Youíre Away/Quand Tes Ailleurs.

Produced by her multi-instrumentalist (guitars, piano, accordion) husband Chris Gage, and featuring Paul Glasse mandolin, Shawn Sanders cello, David Carroll upright bass and either Paul Pearcy or Eddie Cantu drums, this may be rather offbeat, but, as always, Albert delivers a quality product with exceptional musicianship.