now playing: Christine Albert: Paris, Texafrance
“Europe is in my blood and Texas is in my soul,” says Christine Albert in the liner notes of Paris, Texafrance. Texafrance is the term Albert came up with to name that deep connection more than a dozen years go when she first started putting that aspect of her heritage and her music on record. In a solo career and as part of a duo with husband and musical partner Chris Gage, Albert writes and sings country, Americana, and folk styles; as a longtime resident of the southwest and specifically of Austin, Texas, the freewheeling openness of those lands comes into her music. So do her ties with Europe. Albert grew up in household where French was spoken as much s English, with a mother from the French speaking part of Switzerland and a grandmother from Paris.
You don’t have to know any of that to appreciate her work on this album, but it may explain her adventurous song choices -- Jesse Winchester and Michael Austin stand alongside Charles Trenet and Edith Piaf. Albert has a unique perspective on this music, a first generation child’s understanding of the parents and grandparents looking back and looking forward, loving home and leaving it for a new place and of the power of music to make and hold that connection. The songs here range from a jazzy opener by Trenet to a close with Piaf’s Hymne a l’amour. In many cases Albert mixes both French and English lyrics on the songs, in a way that completely honors the song and honors her background as well. Imagine a well understood and well loved song moving between two languages and sung under the lone star sky, and you’ve got it. Go take a listen,
more about Christine Albert and Chris Gage