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DOUBLE-DOUBLE - Le Bal Des Hautes Terres 

DOUBLE-DOUBLE - Le Bal Des Hautes Terres 
Private Label 1DD/1 

Accordionist Seb Lagrange and piper Gaël Rutkowski, pianist Caoimhin Vallely and guitarist Ross Martin, play the music of the Morvan area of central France. This album is roughly half new compositions, mainly by Seb, and half old melodies from the French social dance repertoire. The unlikely quartet of a Scotsman, an Irishman, and two Frenchmen from quite different regions, was born at the Armagh Piping Festival a year or two back. Rutkowski plays both Irish and French pipes, and does so brilliantly, while Lagrange is a true showman on the button box. Le Bal Des Hautes Terres covers all the main forms of French dance music - polkas, waltzes, bourrées, schottiches and mazurkas - as well as one track of Irish-rooted jigs and reels. Lagrange has a taste for the exciting and unusual in French and Celtic music, and both the traditional and contemporary pieces reflect that: the rousing Polkas Du Dédé Clément, the beautiful waltz Freshwater Fran by Phil Cunningham, two of Niall Vallely's tasty modern jigs, as well as Seb's own racy compositions including Mr Kostas Mougolias and Scottish Du Bayou. This is great music for dancing or listening, and a very enjoyable way to get to know the Morvan tradition. The members of Double-Double have a couple of other albums available if you like Le Bal Des Hautes Terres: check out Seb and Gaël on Facebook and YouTube.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.