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The French Connection

Article Published: Sep. 1, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
The French Connection

A lot of people hear the phrase "progressive rock" and think of keyboard-driven bands, such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes.

But the French band, Mörglbl (pronounced just like it looks), is making the case that a power trio featuring electric guitar, electric bass and drums can create music as complex as a progressive rock band with many more instruments.

Mörglbl is currently on a tour of the United States and will perform two shows in the High Country area.

Mörglbl will perform at the Boone Saloon in Boone on Thursday, Sept. 1. Admission is $5, and the show will start a little after 10 p.m.

The band will also perform on Friday, Sept. 2, at Canyons of the Blue Ridge in Blowing Rock. Admission is $5, and the show starts at 9:30 p.m.

Mörglbl features guitarist Christophe Godin, bassist Ivan Rougny and drummer Aurélien Ouzoulias. With influences like Alan Holdsworth, Primus and Pantera, the music of Mörglbl is a crazy mixture of jazz, funk and progressive rock that transcends the language barrier.

The first incarnation of Mörglbl began in 1997 in Annecy, France. That band released two albums: "Ze Mörglbl Trio!!" in 1998 and "Bienvenue a Mörglbl Land" in 1999. The group disbanded in 2002 but reunited for a tour with a different drummer in 2005. Since that time, it has released "Grötesk" in 2007 and last year's "Jazz for the Deaf." It has also rereleased its first two albums with unreleased cuts.

Guitarist Godin is relatively unknown by U.S. rock audiences but is a phenomenon among European rock fans and by many guitarists in the States.

The last time that the band was in the High Country, in 2009, Appalachian State University guitar instructor Andy Page brought members of his advanced class to a workshop presented by Godin at the Crestwood Inn.

The band wanted to return to the High Country last year, but work visa problems kept them from touring the United States in 2010.

For more information on the Mörglbl show at the Boone Saloon, located at 489 W. King St., call (828) 264-1811. For more information on the show at Canyons, located at 8960 Valley Blvd., call (828) 295-7661.

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