‘L’Entredeux’ (2008)

REVIEWS – ”Enchanting” (Now Toronto) – “Fabulous. Stunning” (Ottawa Xpress) – “Beautiful and coherent, understated and entrancing” (Blurt) – “Very classy, but straightforward too. Hard to characterise, excellent” (Radio3.CBC) – “Clearly, Dissard isn’t pandering to anyone’s yen for exoticism. Instead, she plumbs for the soul of both traditions and re-invents them both.” (Rochester City Newspaper) – “Striking in its ability to seamlessly fuse styles that seemed previously to be wholly disparate” (Buffalo News) – “Heart-melting debut” (Philadelphia Weekly) - “The effect is magical” (Democrat&Chronicle) – “An enchanting listen” (New Haven Advocate) – “Something like ’70s import movie music. It is delightfully noncommercial and full of risks.” (San Diego Reader) – “Pick of the Week: Her work has a lovely, mournful lilt, a sort of Parisian blues. Even those of us who don’t speak French cannot help but be touched by the stark beauty of her phrasing.” (LA Weekly) – “Flush with bluesy overtones and a sultriness that doesn’t veer into lounge-cheese territory.” (Ottawa Citizen) – “Seductive French lyrics, brooding ballads and a sultry, alternative jazz/neo-lounge vibe” (Washington Post)
STORY - Tucson-based, French-born singer and lyricist Marianne Dissard is very glad that her first album, “L’Entredeux”, was co-written and produced by Calexico’s frontman Joey Burns. He did all the hard work. She just brought him words and a mixtape of favorite songs she hoped would ‘inform’ her lyrics, and off he went. French-language album “L’Entredeux” was recorded in their hometown of Tucson, Arizona and mixed by Craig Schumacher at Wavelab Studio.
The cast of collaborators was drawn from far and close: from Tucson, John Convertino (Calexico) on drums; Naïm Amor (who also composed 3 of the songs) and Matt Mitchell on guitars; singer Adrianne DeNike, violinists Vicki Brown, Rose Todaro and Michael Fan and Nick Luca on guitar. From the road, the east coast and across the Atlantic, Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson) on harmonica; Rob Burger (Tin Hat Trio, Iron & Wine, Laurie Anderson) on piano, accordion, orchestron, cimbalom and organ; singer Sammy Decoster (Tornado).
The end result of Joey’s producing and arranging is an album where Chanson sweet talks Americana into serving Marianne’s poetic lyrics and husky voice! With sweeping arrangements of strings and overdubs by brilliant collaborators, this is not just another Calexico collaboration. “L’Entredeux” is truly Marianne and Joey’s album, stemming from a long friendship that dates back to the early 90’s and a shared affinity for Mexican food, French wines, old adobe houses and the photographs of Gary Winogrand. Not to mention the recordings of Nick Drake, Nico, Serge Gainsbourg, Django Reinhardt and the western movies of Ennio Morricone and Sam Peckinpah.
The lyrics to “L’entredeux”, tender and biting vignettes of love and other little lies, were written by Marianne in the fall 2004, in a borrowed bedroom in the barrio of Tucson, following the first of many tumultuous meltdowns in her 13 years marriage to longtime songwriting collaborator and fellow expatriate Naïm Amor, who nonetheless contributed three songs (“Flashback”, “Ce Visage Là” and “L’Embellie”) to the collection. Joey Burns sketched the other nine melodies in the intimate setting of his kitchen. Studio recordings began in early 2006 and continued intermittently as Marianne began performing live — in Tucson and on tour in North America. She has since shared stages with Naïm Amor, Calexico, Françoiz Breut, Howe Gelb, Handsome Family, Alaska In Winter, Flip Grater, Cornershop, Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta, Al Foul and many others, including poet Billy Collins, for whom she has become his “chanteuse favorite”!
“L’entredeux”? The ‘in between two’. Is it the space between two countries, two languages, two lovers? The space where one hand lets go and floats free of the old? Hear “L’Entredeux” bow to the past and another continent in the antique wax cylinder recording of a French lesson in track “Merci De Rien Du Tout”. Hear “L’Entredeux” as a nod to Jon Jost’s euro-lusting film “All The Vermeers in New York”, to Lodge Kerrigan’s “Claire Dolan” in the eery “Ce Visage-Là”, to Eric Rohmer’s lakeside frolicks in “Sans-Façon”. In that borrowed bedroom where Marianne wrote the words to this very personal first album, the walls were lined with poetry books. One of them, Ovid’s “Metamorphosis”, with its invocations of the muse and tragic tales of love and punishment, surprisingly became the companion to her transformation from other people’s lyricist to her own. Struggling in between allegiances, Marianne found her escape in these tunes she chose to write in her native language, the language of the intimate, the mother-tongue… maybe also hiding herself behind a language no one immediately around could understand, and, in the process, re-inventing herself once again, this time as a singer of two worlds.
CREDITS -
Lyrics by Marianne Dissard, musics by Joey Burns.
Except tracks 1, 5 & 10 composed by Naïm Amor
Marianne Dissard – vocals
Joey Burns – guitars/bass/etc
John Convertino – drums
Naim Amor – guitar, vocals
Rob Burger – accordion and more
Mickey Raphael – harmonica
Matt Mitchell – django guitar
Michael Fan, Rose Todaro, Vicki Brown – strings
Nick Luca – barytone guitar
Adrianne DeNike – backup vocals
Sammy Decoster – vocals
Craig Schumacher – mixing engineer
John Golden – mastering