Just want to Have Fun is the 23rd album by the prolific Mike Goudreau. It includes twelve originals by the artist and is co-produced and recorded with his long-time friend, Dany Roy, the brilliant saxophonist and arranger who also plays trumpet and flute on this opus. This quality production, refined and shot through with jazzy colours, took advantage of the presence of excellent musicians from the Montréal jazz scene, Richard Irwin on drums, Normand Lachapelle on bass, Paul Schrofel on keyboards and Frank Young on gypsy jazz guitar on “Country Cabin Hideway”. This care in the selection, assembly and production of titles clearly demonstrates a search for coherence and optimal diversity on the part of the Goudreau-Roy team. Special guest on two tracks, harmonica player Guy Bélanger imprints his melodic, dynamic and fluid style with his characteristic energy. He doesn’t go unnoticed, especially in his participation in the medium tempo shuffle “Come Back Home” on which he excels in his usual catchy style. As is often the case, Mike Goudreau’s new offering is a successful and integrated amalgam of Swing Jazz, Jump Blues, Chicago Blues, Motown, Gypsy Jazz, Funk and Rock, all in his own way and with the refined taste of the experienced guitarist and singer from the Eastern Townships. Maybe that’s what we call talent, passion, experience and sharing? It’s worth mentioning that his world-class music has been heard on dozens of Hollywood and American TV productions, including The Banker (with Samuel Jackson, 2020) and Dark Waters (Mark Ruffalo, 2019), the TV show Dynasty (CBS, 2020) and the Christmas TV movie, The Happiest Season (Hulu, 2020). Of Quebecois origin on his father’s side and American on his mother’s side, this aficionado of the scene has been able to immerse himself in both cultures and integrate them intimately, and in a beautiful way, which makes him, perhaps the most American of our Quebec blues performers. Thanks to his skills, perseverance and insight, he has been able to make the most of this strategic advantage to make a living from his contribution to the musical field in all aspects, from creation to live performance. “Just want to Have Fun” is a track that defines and represents well the bright and playful approach of Mike Goudreau and his band of hand-picked musicians. Happy listening!

Reviews by Pierre Jobin – originally published in Tendances Electronique & Design, a free, bilingual online audiophile magazine where you can access back issues with more blues reviews. www.tedpublications.com