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acadian music

Quebecois Music

Festival du Bois trip, Day 1: Saturday!

My belovedest Dara and I have done the trip up to Vancouver quite a few times at this point–but still, it’s a bit rough getting up at stupid-o’clock in the morning in time to get on an early bus, go all the way down to King Street Station, and get on a train to go all the way up to Vancouver. There was quite a bit of yawning involved.

But then, with Festival du Bois waiting on the other end, I was quite willing to spend my Saturday morning snoozing on a train!

As always, our friends Geri and Rob kindly put us up for the weekend at their place. This time around, we brought Rob a bottle of Scotch by way of a “thank you for letting us snooze here!” gift. (That, and I’m sure their dog was happy to have two extra pairs of hands to throw the ball down the stairs.) And, this time around, Geri elected to come to the festival shenanigans with us on Saturday!

My only regret? Realizing only after we were on our way north that I’d totally forgotten to bring Jean-Claude. AUGH. For the best, though, since the weather was wet and cold and let me tell you, Internets, there’s nothing quite as pungent as the smell of wet mammoth.

(Full deets and pics behind the fold!)

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Day of Signal Boosting! And also news!

So happy Boosting the Signal Premiere Day, y’all! If you haven’t seen ’em already, I’ve got the first two posts up, featuring Genevieve Griffin and Anna Kashina!

Quite excited to give these authors a shot at getting the word out about their work, and I hope y’all will consider giving them a look.

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And now, additional items to signal boost!

Michael F. Stewart is a fellow former Drollerie author, and he’s got a Kickstarter! He’s writing YA, with zombies. And as y’all know, zombies ARE relevant to my interests!

If they’re relevant to yours, go give him a look and maybe a pledge, mmkay? Do it for Canadian indie science fiction! Do it for Michael! Do it for ZOMBIES.

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My pal Dejah Leger, about whom I have enthused on this blog more than once, performs with her family under the name La Famille Leger! And they’ve just dropped a brand new shiny album! It’s called L’étoile du nord, and it’s chock full of tasty Acadian music. If you have any interest in French-Canadian trad, you should totally check this out. This is La Famille Leger’s first professionally engineered album, and I’ve listened to it now streaming off of Bandcamp, and whoa and damn it sounds good. I particularly commend to your attention tracks 8 and 12–especially track 12, which contains a tune I’m learning how to play since we’re doing it in session! Come for Dejah’s lovely singing and the wry vocals by her beau-père Louis, as well! Stay for the cracklin’ foot-stompin’ tunes!

The album lives right over here on Bandcamp. And if you can see the embedded player in this post, you can just click right on it! Check it out! And if you like what you hear, give it a buy, won’t you? All that’s stopping me from buying this RIGHT NOW is that I’m buying a physical CD directly from the Legers. But the rest of you out there in Internetland, throw ’em some dollars through Bandcamp and tell ’em I sent you!

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And speaking of awesome French-Canadian music, Dara and I are about to scamper up to Canada for round one of our March musical shenanigans! We’re hitting Festival du Bois, the Francophone music festival in B.C., at which quite a few of my favorite musicians will be performing! Not only the aforementioned La Famille Leger, but also the Yves Lambert trio! Real excited about seeing Monsieur Lambert, since he’s the singer whose lead vocals on La Bottine Souriante way back in 2000 got me hooked on Quebec music in the first place.

And! AND! There will also be Vishtèn! Y’all may recall that Dara and I got to see them in Newfoundland in 2012, and they were awesome, and I am very much looking forward to seeing them again!

Last but most assuredly not least, my boys of De Temps Antan, about whom I have failed to be able to shut up, almost as much as I’ve failed to stop gushing over Le Vent du Nord. ;D

Forecast for this weekend is perfectly ridiculous amounts of fun, and I’ll be roping several friends into attending the shenanigans with us! Best of all Dara and I get to meet up with userinfomaellenkleth and userinfosiestabear for the De Temps Antan show at St. James Hall–two years and a day after the delightful Le Vent du Nord show at the same venue! Which means that Sunday night will be our second anniversary of getting Canada-married, which means we’ll have not only badass music to enjoy, but an anniversary to celebrate as well! SO AWESOME. \0/

Music

The roundup post of All the Musics!

Internets, I came back from this vacation with a grand spanking total of 13, count ’em, 13 CDs! Most of these were bought in Newfoundland, but considering that Quebec threw me discs by Bernard Simard et Compagnie (and any band that includes Olivier Demers is by definition GODDAMN RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS) AND three out of the five members of the Charbonniers, it must be said that Quebec put up a damn good fight.

Behold, the musical awesomeness!

Picked up at Memoire et Racines:

  • Au fil du temps, by Bernard Simard et Compagnie. Because see previous commentary re: GODDAMN RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS. M. Simard is of course a former member of Le Vent du Nord, but even more excitingly, Olivier Demers is also in this group! And not only Olivier–they’ve ALSO got André Brunet of De Temps Antan, and I’m almost certain it’s not legal in Canada OR the US to have that much awesome fiddle in one band! To round ’em out, they’ve got Frédéric Beauséjour who I recognized from La Voleé d’Castors, and a final gentleman whose name I don’t know yet but who made a HELL of an impression on Dara and me for amazing saxophone solos during their stage show!
  • L’album blanche, by Les Mononcles. Because THESE guys include Michel Bordeleau, André Marchand, and Normand Miron, who of course I already love from the Charbonniers! The CD vendor at the festival told me this album was essentially those gentlemen only with instruments, and I said, “SOLD!” They’ve got a fourth musician with them on a standup bass and I am very, VERY excited about listening to this one. Also, yes, I see what they did there with the album title. Ha!

From the Archambault in downtown Montreal, the one which happened to be right by our hotel and which proved to be an awesome store of awesomeness full of ALL THE THINGS I MIGHT EVER HOPE TO BUY:

  • Trésors du Québec en musique, by Les Frères Brunet. Because the Brunet boys, occupying as they do two of my favorite Quebec bands, need a fighting chance to see if they can yank my musical affections away from the Beaudrys. 😀
  • Le galarneau, by Genticorum! Because as previously expressed here on this blog, the Genticorum boys are awesome, and this was the only album of theirs that I didn’t have yet!

Bought at Le Pays de la Sagouine in New Brunswick:

  • On y va!!! by Reveil, so that I could do a proper comparison of Acadian music with Quebecois! This was one of the albums recommended to me by the nice lady at the shop who was encouraging when I stumbled my way through explaining, in French, that “J’aime la musique traditionelle” and “J’apprends un peu francais!”

Bought from O’Brien’s Music while Dara and I were wandering around St. John’s on the 2nd:

  • Dance and Sing, by the Navigators. Because they’d been recommended and I can’t get them on the US iTunes store!
  • The self-titled The Forgotten Bouzouki, which appears to be about Greek bouzouki music, not Irish, but it’s important to be in touch with where the bouzouki originally came from! Plus the album looked potentially awesome.
  • The Eastern Light, by the Dardanelles. Who were already on my radar as recommended, so I was going to buy them anyway–but I was all the more glad I did after they put on a hell of a show at the festival in St. John’s! Important side note: this album DOES appear to be available on the US iTunes store, for those of you who don’t actually live in Newfoundland and/or can’t order it from O’Brien’s!

Bought from Fred’s Records while Dara and I were wandering around St. John’s on the 2nd:

  • Live at O’Reilly’s Vol. 1, by Shanneyganock. These guys were already on my radar, but this particular album came recommended, so I nabbed it while I had the chance!
  • What a Time!, by Ryan’s Fancy. This is a double-album, forty-year retrospective look at Ryan’s Fancy, who have of course also already been on my radar as a seminal influence for Great Big Sea. Looking forward to giving this one a listen, quite a bit!

Bought on George Street:

  • Rise Again: Volume 1, by the Irish Descendants. Nabbed this one after Dara and I were having dinner on George Street last night in a pub called Kelly’s, where we stumbled across an unexpected solo act by Con O’Brien of the Irish Descendants! MAN, that gent can sing, and he was quite amiable to me and Dara when we came up to chat and get the album!

Nabbed from the Fred’s table at the NFLD folk festival:

  • The self-titled A Crowd of Bold Sharemen, because Fergus O’Byrne from this group led a participatory workshop that Dara participated in, and he closed it off with a damn fine rendition of “General Taylor”.
  • Mosaïk, by Vishtèn. Because people keep telling me I need to listen to this group, and since they showed up at the festival and gave an excellent workshop on Acadian (chair-based) step-dancing, and then gave an excellent concert, and well, YEAH.