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Release date: July 28, 2015
Running time: 29:02, 8 tracks
The Green Duck is a French three piece band: Grégoire Butaeye (fiddle and background vocals, from Brittany) Laurent Réval (lead vocals, harmonica and drums, from Montepellier) and Lionel Fouchet (guitar, mandolin, background vocals, from Paris). This is the official line-up, but often they are joined by a banjoist and a bassist.
Their first CD was a mini-album released in 2015. That mini-album consists of 5 studio tracks and 3 live tracks. The studio tracks were recorded and mixed by Steph Legrand, who also played the bass on the first track. The live tracks were recorded by Bertrand Truptil.
The Green Duck set-list is based mainly on Irish standards, but there is enough place for the odd bluegrass number, some celtic style covers of rock classics and some originals. Then, the track listing on their first CD follows the same approach.
The mini-album kicks off with “Blow it away”. This amazing song was written by Laurent. It’s more bluegrass than Celtic, and guest Manu Bertrand plays dobro and banjo.
The next three numbers are Irish standards: “Drunken Sailor”, “Step it out Mary” and “Whiskey in the Jar”. These songs have been covered by a lot of bands, but the arrangements are top-notch. “Drunken Sailor” features the tune “Drowsy Maggie”. “Step it out Mary” has a beginning that reminds me of Louise Attaque, together with interesting fiddle arrangements and backing vocals. “Whiskey in the Jar” has some appealing fiddle arrangements too.
Track no. 5 (“Around the World“) is the kind of number that I love: a kick-ass set of tunes. The three members do a great job.
The last three tracks are the live ones. Jean Marc Delon plays the banjo while Billy plays the bass. “Dirty Old Town” is played with gusto. “American Land” is a badass number too. “Highway to Hell” gets a country spin and the final result is awesome.
1 – Blow it Away 4:15
2 – Drunken Sailor 2:37
3 – Step it out Mary 3:40
4 – Whiskey in the Jar 2:32
5 – Around the World 2:31
6 – Dirty Old Town (live) 4:04
7 – American Land (live) 5:14
8 – Highway to Hell (live) 4:10
The Green Duck “2e EP”
Release date: July 12, 2017
Running time: 28:12, 8 tracks
Two years later, The Green Duck have released their second mini-album. Once again, there are 8 tracks, but all of them are studio takes. “On the Rise” is the first cut on their second CD. It has been written by Laurent Réval (lyrics) and Lionel Fouchet (music) and recorded and mixed by Steph Legrand. After listening to this gem I keep on wondering why these guys have not recorded more self-penned stuff.
The other 7 tracks on the mini-album were mixed and mastered by Lionel Fouchet. Even if they have been recorded at the studio, all of them have a “live” spirit. Regarding the standards, I’ve enjoyed their renditions of “Johnny I hardly knew Ye”, “The Foggy Dew” and “The Raggle Taggle Gypsy”, because the arrangements add something new.
Fortunately, there is a set of tunes on this new CD: “Paddy on the Turnpike and Tommy’s Tarbukas”. Maybe another set of tunes instead of a cover of a pub standards would have been better for the tracks balance.
The Green Duck’s second mini-album is over with “Hush Little Baby”. No, it’s not a cover of The Men They Couldn’t Hang‘s song, but the well-known lullaby. Weird choice, but it works.
1 – On the Rise 3:54
2 – Galway Girl 3:03
3 – Johnny I Hardly knew ya 4:47
4 – The Foggy Dew 3:53
5 – Paddy on the Turnpike and Tommy’s Tarbukas 2:34
6 – The raggle Taggle Gypsy 3:15
7 – The Wild Rover 4:22
8 – Hush Little Baby 2:25
Review by Kinksmarkham