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Fingers pump up the jazz

Ever wonder what You Shook Me All Night Long would sound like if Django Reinhardt played it? The Lost Fingers have.

Ever wonder what You Shook Me All Night Long would sound like if Django Reinhardt played it? The Lost Fingers have.

Covering the AC/DC staple is just part of the sojourn into the decade of Aqua Net, skinny ties and bright pastel suits on The Lost Fingers’ debut Lost In The ’80s. The disc is a collection of 1980s hits, done in the Montreal trio’s jazz and gypsy-guitar style for which the Belgian songwriter was known. The group revisits classics such as Soft Cell’s Tainted Love, Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam and Bon Jovi’s You Give Love A Bad Name.

The Lost Fingers were born in 2004, when longtime friends and former Quebec Conservatory of Music students Byron Mikaloff (guitars) and Christian Roberge (lead vocals) tinkered with Samantha Foxx’s Touch Me while hearing it on the radio. Adding double-bassist Alex Morrisette, the trio recorded the song for what was to be a comeback album for the British pop star. The project fell through. The Lost Fingers moved on.

“It was serendipitous,” the guitarist Mikaloff said. “We just laughed after Christian played this little arrangement. There was this exclamation point that came over our heads and we were like, ‘We got it! We should do a tribute to the ’80s.’ We just dove into it.”

The approach succeeded in their native province. Lost In The ’80s went platinum in Quebec within 12 weeks of its release and held the No. 1 spot on the Quebec Top 200 for eight weeks. Juno Award nominations for fan choice award and album of the year brought the band national prominence.

“We’re curious to see if English Canada will take it as a joke or get it the way people in Quebec got it,” Mikaloff said. “What’s hot there isn’t what’s hot here. There’s a lot of Quebecers that don’t get Nickelback, whereas Albertans dig it.”

But Mikaloff is pretty optimistic about turning Anglophones onto their act, and introducing listeners to a less familiar genre to boot.

“People who see us might not be there to see us and they’ll do this double take,” Mikaloff said. “Then they’ll recognize the song. You might hear some laughs at first then you see them getting into it. We’re reaching people beyond jazz. This swing style is very rich.”


 
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