Bob Lanois
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Bob Lanois


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"Roots review"

Brad Wheeler

Print Edition 23/11/06 Page R3

Snake Road Bob Lanois Cordova Bay Rating: *** He's heavy, and he's my brother. Bob Lanois, who describes himself as a fledgling harmonica player, hails his uber-producer bro Daniel to make an instrumental album of cinematic scope and rural charm, with slight urban affectations. The musical landscapes are French-Canadian and vaguely Romanian, with a melodic mouth harp that shimmers, quivers and sometimes makes like a squeeze box. Last track Up Set has a lazy roller-rink organ and the slow lope of Roy Rogers's horse. Happy trails, indeed.
- Globe and Mail

"Snake Road - Bob Lanois - Cordova Bay"

December 6, 2006

Snake Road
(Cordoba Bay)

An exquisite dreamlike musical landscape has indeed been created by Canadian performer Bob Lanois on his latest sonic journey Snake Road.

A collaboration with his brother Daniel, the instrumental disc delves into the French Canadian family’s proud and colourful history.

Tunes are almost jarring in their powerful simplicity, compared to the often overbearing and over-produced material inflicted on listeners today. From the haunting stains of disc opener The Vampire to the exotic flavours woven into the title track, the disc offers many remarkably unique listening experiences.

Tunes reflect scenarios perfectly¬ Rendevous takes listeners on a ride uptown in New York City on a rainy night while the luminous Space Shack is a story about Lanois’ mother’s trips as a girl along the Gatineau River in Quebec.

The beautifully-crafted, lonely-sounding Oiseau is a ‘classical parlour duet with harmonica and piano tells the story of my ancestors cross the Atlantic in 1625.’ The moving simplicity of the piece is remarkable, and speaks to the stunning ability of Lanois to inject his feelings and reflections into a song.

Negril takes a colourful, fun turn into layers of tropical nuances, featuring Daniel on steel guitar as he ‘sneaks in a tribute to Jimi Hendrix’.

Rating: 4 out of 5

- Mark Weber
- Red Deer Express

"Bob Lanois - Snake Road"

Bob Lanois
Snake Road
Cordova Bay

Canadian musician/producer extraordinaire Daniel Lanois is most often handed accolades for his work creating atmospheric productions, usually centred on his involvement with U2 and Bob Dylan. This collaboration with his brother Bob Lanois is no different, except that it is.

There’s still plenty of atmospherics here, but Bob Lanois’s Snake Road is no big rock album. Instead, it travels down the winding valleys of the Lanois family’s past. Bob, who also performs the melodies on harmonica, wrote all these instrumental songs, while Daniel produced, arranged and played everything else (save for a single drum track).

You get the feeling that these two brothers had fun making this album and exploring their Québécois roots. The songs are loose and rolling, impressively telling stories without resorting to lyrics. That’s largely due to the strength of Bob’s harp melodies and Daniel’s understated accompaniment, which blend together so well that it’s nearly impossible to listen to this album without letting your mind wander through a hundred different scenes for each tune.

As cinematic as the songs are, though, they work just as well as the soundtrack to modern life, wistfully recalling the past while existing in the present. The low-key instrumental approach is not for all takers, but there’s no denying this album as a pleasant diversion in this hectic day.
- Vue Weekly December 11, 2006

"Regina Leader-Post/ Snake Road - Bob Lanois"

Stacey John Hoskin, Andrew Matte and Erin Harde, CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bob Lanois
Cordova Bay Records
Rating 4 (out of five)
The brothers Lanois have always been known for music that's appreciated for what's not there as much as what is there.
Brother Bob enlists the genius of brother Daniel for Snake Road, a personal, subtle collection of instrumentals that explores music history and, in Bob's own words, his "fledgling harmonica style."
These songs are full of soul, passion and an appreciation for old-school music -- there are pretty, rolling sounds created in this exploration of music. And there's a dutiful appreciation of the spaces between the notes.
This approach is a Lanois trademark, evidenced on Daniel's work with U2 and Bob's recent cool collaboration with Tom Wilson.
For a CD rich with deep, soulful tones, there is a beautiful energy in the weaving of gentle guitar and harmonica that makes this CD worthy of a spin, especially on a cold Saskatchewan day.
-- Andrew Matte
- Regina Leader-Post


Snake Road - 2007



When you have a superstar for a brother, it’s hard not to hit him up for a little help. Bob Lanois embarked on creating his first solo album with a
musical god on his side. Younger brother Daniel (U2, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan) is spoken of in the hushed tones reserved for a deity. And why not, it was U2’s Bono who referred to him as the best musician he has ever known.

A celebrated engineer and producer himself, Bob stepped away from the knobs and dials of the control room, and, freed from the tangle of cables and microphones, took a chance with his own collection of songs — varied, moody, engaging instrumental pieces — produced by the genius of Daniel.

“I totally had to ‘give’ while working with Dan,” says Bob. “He demands it and is somewhat of a shaman that way in that he will trick you into revealing your true self.” Snake Road is an exit ramp off the superhighway of contemporary sonic exploration. It wraps you in the past like an old sweater, knitted in the homespun idiom of Quebecois folksong. It also ventures into the future. “It’s forward moving. I believe I am more a futurist than I am a traditionalist,” proffers Bob. “I would rather plunge into the future.”

That future is the signature dreamlike landscape of Daniel, with the surprisingly lithe harmonica of brother Bob piercing and challenging the rich, shifting textures of ethereal backdrop like a well-rosined bow pulled across low fiddle strings. “It’s not a harmonica sound,” he says, almost apologetically. “Although I never aspired for it to be something else; it just turned out that way.”

It was five years ago that a buddy handed him his first harmonica. As Bob tells it, at the time he was wearing the hangdog expression of a man with troubles when his friend slipped something metallic into his palm. The friend leaned close and smiled. “You can’t have a long face when you play a harmonica in the key of C,” was all he said. For Bob, who is also a gifted visual artist, the creativity immediately began.

The brothers Lanois, pursued by a similar muse, worked collaboratively on Snake Road, Bob laying down melody and Daniel digging into his rich palette to paint the background. “We’d worked together before but never in this way,” explains Bob. “It was so dynamic and unfolded so quickly that is was slightly shocking.”

The resulting album, with its 9 beautifully-crafted, often cinematic melodies, is wonderfully simplistic, haunting and enchanting. It has been met with critical acclaim by the press, has been a favourite of the CBC and has been topping the charts at campus radio as well.

Since the release of Snake Road, Bob has filmed two music videos for the Bravo! Channel and has taken his ambient brand of folk music and improvisation to stages throughout Canada and Europe - much to the delight of his fans.