Tom Chicoine isn’t quite a newcomer – an album in 2016, an mini-album in 2021, a few contests in between. But his arrival in the Audiogram stable seems to have given him a real boost, as did his meeting with Éric Goulet, with whom he started working two years ago: indeed, the singer of Les Chiens left his mark as a director and musician on this beautifully crafted pure country-rock album.
In fact, if you were to judge an artist by those around him, Tom Chicoine would score perfect: Alex Burger of Bon Enfant on bass, David Marchand (guitar, pedalsteel) and Mandela Coupal-Dalgeish (drums) of Mon Doux Seigneur, Ariane Roy on harmonies, what talent here, in addition to well-chosen special guests like the Hay Babies on a nice cover of Pour ton amour by Renée Martel or Rick Hayworth on acoustic guitar for a French version of So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams (12).
As we can see, Tom Chicoine knows his classics – his frankly successful adaptation of I’ll Be There in the Morning by Townes Van Zandt also testifies to this. The album is therefore in perfect harmony with its country influences, speaks of escape and wide open spaces, of heartbreak and light flirting, and we feel even in the slightest guitar solo, in each vibration of lapsteel, in its deep and rich voice also her deep North American roots.
Tom Chicoine is part of this new generation of artists who embrace country. If we like the genre, we are with him in perfect company, but he may lack the small dose of the second degree of his colleague Alex Burger which would make him stand out. Alongside the amusing title track, Motor Super Sport, a joyous hillbilly-tinged road song, which irresistibly advances without a single kilometer being driven – “My motorcycle, I want to repair my motorcycle”, he says from the start. beginning – some texts fall rather flat, neither really down-to-earth in the pure country tradition nor really poetic.
Not all of them of course, there are gems here and there, perfectly used vernacular and well-turned images, but above all we retain from this album a real country elegance that gently tickles the ear.