Thank God for brutal North Dakota winters. Because of them, Linda Rees taught her bayou-transplanted progeny, Paige, Katie, John and Stephen to sing and play music. Obviously she taught them well because soon the family band (then Linda Lou & the Lucky Four) were on their way to playing hundreds of super-charged shows across the Midwest and Southeast.
Now they’re back on native soil, re-christened as L’Angélus, a moniker that refers to the Catholic prayer where church bells are rung thrice daily when the devotion is said. An acoustic band (think Rankin Family on roux) that mixes country pop originals with Acadiana fare, L’Angélus is like the ringing of bells centering around the magical harmonies of Paige, Katie and Linda that are nothing short of heart melting. With mighty bow strokes and lickety-split runs, Stephen is already a formidable fiddler, as evidenced by the title song and the western swing stomper “Goin’ Back to Ponchatoula.” They add interesting touches along the way, like Irish pennywhistles on Christine Balfa’s anthemic “La Chandelle Est Allumée” that draws the Cajun-to-Celtic cultural link. Obviously, with a name like L’Angélus, there’s a spiritual sensibility, which is manifested in “The Waltz of St. Cecilia” and the gorgeous “The Waltz of the Sorrowful Mysteries.” The religious undertones are never overbearing but celebratory, in a sense, as their blood and sonic bond reveals a full appreciation for life.