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Dirty Linen - by Kerry Dexter
August/September 2003 #107
Christine Albert / Texafrance-Encore!

"Christine Albert does a fine job of blending her southwestern singer/songwriter interests with her family’s native roots in France and Switzerland on her second recording exploring these connections (the first one, Texafrance, was released in 1992). She sings in an expressive soprano with just enough twang to make the Cajun/Texas flavor evident and just enough crispness to inhabit effectively the more Parisian of the tunes she chooses. It’s a mixed bag of music, from the familiar "Mademoiselle de Paris" and jazz master Stephane Grapelli’s lively "CouCou" to the 18th-century ballad-turned-folk-song "Plasir d’Amour." Each of the dozen cuts is worth listening to, but her most memorable choices are two more contemporary tunes, Rickie Lee Jones’ light-as-air "Jolie Jolie" and Daniel Lanois’ bayou-tinged "Under a Cloudy Sky." The project was produced by Albert’s oft times duet partner Chris Gage, who adds back vocal, keyboards, guitar and accordion to many of the tracks. Austin fiddler Eamon McLoughlin’s touch of spice is especially welcome on "Under a Cloudy Sky," while Paul Glasse’s mandolin illuminates the "CouCou" and "J’Attendrai." - Kerry Dexter