La Vie Musette - Dirty Linen Review

La Vie Musette
Dirty Linen

CD Review

I love Dan Newton for a variety of reasons. Yes, he's a tremendous player and charmimg composer, but that's not the main reason. Above all else, I love Newton because he approaches a terribly ironic instrument, the accordion, completely without irony. It's easy to dismiss the accordion as a piece of clunky Americana--it's harder to prove to American ears what cultures the world over have no trouble understanding--the accordion is capable of all the stylistic and emotional range as any guitar or piano or what have you. Maybe more; I mean, it's an instrument you have to hug...it breaths.

La Vie Musette is a delightful mix of classic, original, and traditional tunes that celebrate the legacy of the musette orchestras that enlivened Paris from the 1920s to the 1940s. With sparse accompaniment from bass and percussion, Newton offers frisky dance numbers, lush waltzes, and sentimental odes to " la vie Musette." Put aside your memories of Lawrence Welk and the thoughts of lugging your own suitcase full o' accordion to lessons you never wanted to take in the first place. A better life awaits you, one of wide boulevards, wine with lunch, and melodies that seem to rest on fragrent air.

JB-Dirty Linen 12/02-1/03