Germaine, Cafe Accordion Orchestra’s seventh recording, finds the Twin Cities-based band in a particularly sunny mood. CAO presents the combination of accordion, mandolin, violin, guitars, bass, percussion, and vocals in their trademark ensemble-oriented manner. While their previous two releases (Le Disque Français and Cinema) were concept albums, Germaine is simply a collection of favorite tunes the band has been performing over the past 15 years.
The French accents that are known to inspire CAO fans adorn the new release – musettes, javas, and hot-club styles. There are three classic musette instrumentals ("Germaine", "Brise Picarde" and "Milou de Paname") and two French-language songs by contemporary retro composer Dominic Cravic that will take the listener directly to a sidewalk cafe in Paris. But, as is the case with most of CAO's live shows, they take side trips with some Latin sounds and American standards. Cumbias from the Colombian and Arizona traditions complement a Brazilian mandolin feature (Jocob do Bandolim's lively "Assanhado"), an original cha-cha ("Eiffel Tower" by the band's leader Dan Newton) and a gentle rumba treatment of the classic "Sweet Sue". And there's more, in the form of Tin Pan Alley fox-trots and blues.
Dan Newton - Accordion & Vocals
Brian Barnes - Guitars & Vocals
Eric Mohring - Mandolin, Violin, Mandolin-Banjo, Vocals
Erik Lillestol - Bass
Joe Steinger - Drums & Percussion
Recorded at Wild Sound Studios - Minneapolis,
Minnesota by Matt Zimmerman
Artwork by Jim Dryden - Visit Jim's web site!