Les Cowboys Fringants Essentials

Les Cowboys Fringants Essentials

Since the late ‘90s, this Québécois ensemble have taken the sepia-toned sounds of roots music and updated them with Technicolor splendor to define the franco-folk style known as néo-trad. They use modest means to epic ends: The tense acoustic strums of “Les étoiles filantes” summon a swirl of alluring accordion and pulse-racing percussion; the campfire serenade “La tête haute” builds into a fiddle-powered dust-bowl storm. And while non-French listeners may not key into the socially conscious messaging embedded in their music, the voice of Karl Tremblay, who died in November 2023, was a rabble-rousing instrument in its own right.

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