Le folklore américain s’invite en France: les Mountain Men

Moutain Men est un groupe rare qui a écrit son histoire en quelques dates : en 2009, sortie du 1er album « Spring Time Coming » ; en 2012, deuxième album « Hope » suivi en 2014 par « Against The Wind » et « Black Market Flowers » en 2016. C’est au total plus de 600 concerts pour le groupe qui a su faire vibrer de nombreuses scènes françaises et étrangères. La musique des Moutain Men, c’est la vie habillée de rock et de folk. Puisant ses racines dans le blues (le groupe a reçu de nombreux prix dans plusieurs festivals dédiés à ce genre musical), le duo constitué de Mathieu Guillou, alias « Mr Mat » (le chanteur) et Ian Giddey où « Barefoot Iano » (l’harmoniciste) a franchi un pallier en termes de notoriété durant cette années 2017, ayant effectué plus d’une soixantaine de concerts (Paris, Grenoble…) témoignant de leurs capacités de séduction de foule.

Quand j’ai découvert les Montain Men, c’était avec leur premier album « Spring Time Coming ». J’ai immédiatement été frappé par la richesse musicale insoupçonnée dont fait preuve le groupe franco-australien. « Time Is Coming », premier titre de leur album « Spring Time Coming », est une véritable pépite. Légère et vive à la fois, elle est un premier regard vers l’univers des Mountain Men qui sera contrasté par la suite, plus mélancolique, qui avec « Blues Before My Time » arrive à se saisir de l’émotion pure du folk pour nourrir une inspiration qui sera à la fois accessible et agréable à l’oreille. Avec « My anger » ou « Hang me », les mélodies gagnent en fermeté, le chant mis en avant fonctionne à merveille et le blues jazzy chaleureux — que l’on retrouve dans « Old Home Place » des Mountain Men n’est pas sans évoquer les figures de Robert Johnson ou Charley Patton. Le swing plus moderne dans sa réinterprétation du folklore musical américain, des titres « I Make You Lose » et « Hellhole » donne à chaque fois un résultat assez étourdissant, malgré un petit essai assez décevant dans la langue de Voltaire qui confirme que les intonations de cette dernière ne s’harmonise pas réellement avec le blues.

Nul titre superflu ou en deçà des autres. Si certains morceaux savent se faire plus légers, ils apportent en réalité des respirations bienvenues dans un album intense et sans aucun temps mort. Naturellement, les Moutain Men s’imposent un peu plus comme un élément majeur du paysage rock francophone. Un groupe à part, intense et habité, à découvrir d’urgence.

Antoine Merceron

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