Once A Rebel

by Victor Nesrallah

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Down Below 02:46
Adip's Blues 04:12
Lonely Times 03:52
Driftin 03:41


If there was ever any question or doubt as to Victor Nesrallah’s folk and country rock roots, his new album Once A Rebel should lay those to rest. The acclaimed singer songwriter has crafted an album which truly showcases his ability to stay true to the foundations of his musical past. His love of folk-rock, blues and country is brought to the fold with a wonderful collection of songs blurring the lines within the genres of Americana, but make no mistake, Once A Rebel showcases powerful storytelling beginning with The Lion The Sheep and the Self Made Man. Based on the life story of his grandfather Alex the song portrays the struggles of early nineteenth century immigrants to Canada. The ghostly blues rocker Down Below touches the irony of struggling with the demons of our pasts aptly presented with gritty guitar work in the swampy traditions of the American South. Paying homage to fingerstyle blues in the style of Mississippi John Hurt , Once A Rebel captures the essence of that tradition with two ballad-like renderings in Driftin and Low Down Blues. Victor clearly writes about the search for meaning in the journey of one’s travels through life without laying any pretentious claim to the answers, yet there is a universality to the message in his blues. A rendition and remake of his brother Stephan’s folk rock tune Lonely Times portrays the struggles of life on the road for any travelling songwriter. The Losin Game has been called Alt-Country by some critics and if you like country rock with an edge, this song in its anthemic proportions leaves nothing to be desired. More closer to country rock and co written and produced with help of veteran pedal steel player and guitarist Danny Artuso, a long-time musical associate and former bandmate, Taking You Back channels the emotions of a simpler time where we struggle to live in a less complicated world. The blues rocker Adip’s Blues laments the story of the prodigal son arranged with hints of gospel which by no surprise is one of Victor’s strengths throughout the album, arranging great harmonies while showcasing his vocal talents and mastery of blues rock guitar. Banjo and fiddle work is provided by Keith Snider, an Ottawa Valley mainstay in bluegrass circles and current bandmate closing out the ten songs with stellar work on Never Too Old and the Celtic flavoured Tribute To The Teacher, a nod to those mentors who have played a role in our lives. There is a rebellious quality to the characters portrayed in this album skillfully presented and narrated in the story telling tradition.


released August 1, 2018


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Victor Nesrallah Ottawa, Ontario

One of the most dynamic and versatile performers on the stage today, Victor has entertained audiences in concert halls and small club venues across Canada and abroad playing his original blend of roots world folk and blues. Described by many as an unsung hero and Ottawa legend Victor draws from the roots to engage and inspire audiences. ... more

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