Ah, the PAB! Old memories come back to me. Between 1987 and 1988, I must have seen them a good fifteen times when they played in a reduced formation in the bar run by fat Phify (who played the role of bouncer at the Sex Machine in Les Enfants du Rock), rue de la Roquette in Paris. Le Sioux on bass, René on guitar and harmonica player Christophe Dupeu. Sometimes another rhythm guitarist. And there was a great atmosphere. After their set, we discussed music over a beer (and even several).

And then that famous evening of the year 2000 when the Peter Alexander Band opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Zénith. A great memory.

And always a bit of discussion when I ran into the Sioux at concerts.

So, some may argue that this column will not be objective.

They are wrong but I have to say that their new record is a success.

First, the object in itself. A double vinyl with a beautiful cover. A limited edition (there won't be one for everyone). An achievement that reminds us of the productions of our youth. And the group's logo which evokes a little that of the Marshall Tucker Band.

Then the content. Twenty-three original tracks that tell a story. Yes, the PAB decided to record a concept album and it's a great idea.

And in addition, the lyrics are written inside. This will prevent the most romantic or the most obsessed of you from making an unfortunate confusion. Because this Betty (who gives her name to the latest PAB album) is not a woman! A little explanation is in order.

A young musician makes an unexpected legacy that takes him to the USA. Arrived there, he discovers that the inheritance in question boils down to a guitar. This instrument will lead him into a series of adventures with, as a culmination, his participation in a festival where the greatest guitarists compete.

Well, I'm not going to tell you more, but already it should make you want to know more.

As for the music, we are not disappointed. As per usual ! We recognize the talent of the musicians of the PAB.

Impeccable setting up. Harmonized guitars à la Outlaws ("La guitare magique", "Les trompettes sonnent le glas"). Incendiary six-string duels over medium or fast tempos ("Duel 1" and "Duel 2"). Country influences ("En attendant Willy", "Le meilleur du festival"). Guitars playing in unison in the mind of the Charlie Daniels Band ("Degüello").

A superb, bluesy, nostalgic ballad with an almost symphonic finale ("La princesse du Tennessee").

Lyrics symbolizing a certain philosophy of life on the road:

"We pull out the guitars/it pays for the beer, the gas, the sack" ("Willy").

There are also Mexican trumpets, female choirs, a nod to fifties rock'n'roll ("Jingle") and an abundance of acoustic instruments (acoustic guitars, banjo, mandolin, violin, double bass).

And then, we do not escape the trademark of the PAB. At the turn of a piece, we get in the mug an original break, overflowing with inspiration and technical mastery.

And above all, the group continues to express itself in French. It feels good !

The guys from the Peter Alexander Band have dedicated their lives to music. Whatever they are thank you! And to do so, what better than to get their latest album?

With them, Rock'n'roll is not yet dead!

Olivier Aubry
Translation : Y. Philippot-Degand


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