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The Run-off Groove -  by John Book  April 2008

 Christine Albert has brought together her love of Texas with her French roots and has come up with an album that is sure to be favored by more adventurous Americana listeners. Paris, Texafrance (Moonhouse Records) is an album full of great country, bluegrass, and folk, some of it sounding like it comes from a time long gone and yet still very familiar to anyone who listens to these styles.

What I get out of this album is a sense of roots and family. When Albert sings in French she does so with honor. When she sings in English she does so with grace, and one can imagine every cowboy and businessman saluting her because she may remind them of home. Her music sounds familiar and warm, and perhaps those who have seeked her music for the last few years come to hear just for those reasons. Imagine a mix of Linda Ronstadt and Barbara Mandrell and you have a good sense of what Albert is capable of doing, but in her own unique way. The songs themselves are a diverse selection of songs that have a common thread running through, all of them chosen because they meant something to Albert, whether it was a song that reminded her of her grandmother or citing a song like "The French Song" (recorded by Lucille Starr) that became a surprise international hit. Each show a love of her culture, but the country flair adds a unique quality to these songs. When the direct approach is taken, it also works extremely well, as it does in her rendition of a song Edith Piaf made famous, "Chante Moi". Albert handles it with a lot of conviction, and even if like myself you don't speak French, you can sense the sorrow and longing of some of these songs which have been brought back to life, or perhaps the old wardrobe has been replaced by the new.

I hope Paris, Texafrance brings to Albert a lot of attention for this very bold project. In a live setting, it would be great if she was able to have former Duhks singer Jessee Havey sit in on a song or two. It is Americana at its best, and I hope people who like good down home music will appreciate this for the masterpiece it will become in the next ten to twenty years.