Part of the charm of falling in love with musicians like Myriam Gendron (Ottawa, 1988) is realizing that they are people just like us. Only, at last, brilliant. She could have kept just one album on her resume, 2014’s magnificent Not So Deep As A Well, where she turned Dorothy Parker’s poems into unforgettable interpretations. And it looked good. For a while, it was a thought that often crossed the minds of those who knew Gendron, maybe it was gone. Maybe it wasn’t anymore. Maybe that was all it was. But when, last year, there was news of a new album, “Ma délire – Songs Of Love, Lost & Found,” it became clear that he had only one life after all, like the rest of us. He had to pay bills. She had children. And how much everyday life limits you to be able to create, to have time for that.
Only by the second album he didn’t do what people like us do: he threw himself into a more ambitious project. The result? Fifteen songs, 75 minutes around a reimagining of traditional French, Canadian and American music. And once again, the question is not so much what we learn from what Gendron sings, but what we feel. While his research work is phenomenal, what stands out – more than his brilliant fluency of singing in two languages, English and French – is his ability to interpret, recreate and reinvent these songs with propriety.
Her talent as an interpreter comes naturally to her, she is able to give a special light to the themes she picks up and bring them together with the necessary cohesion of an album. In “Ma délire – Songs Of Love, Lost & Found” he works some songs with Chris Corsano and Bill Nace and uses their talent to give a unique oxygen to these songs: as if he assumed that anything extra to the voice and guitar would make the music levitate. And it does, they are themes – “C’est dans les vieux pays” and “La jeune fille en pleurs” – that stand apart from the others, by the way they conquer a larger space and seem to refine the perception that there is still much to know from Myriam Gendron. This concert at ZDB is a rare opportunity to be in the same room with one of the great contemporary performers. She doesn’t give many concerts, and it’s possible that life will again intrude on her musical career. One doesn’t know. It’s part of this charm. Of the truth. AS