Thursday October 1, 2009
What a stellar concert experience we had last night with Dougie MacLean! I'll post a few photos later on. Visit http://gallery.me.com/steveedge3 for photos of other recent shows too.
Tonight we have the terrific Quebecois trio De Temps Antan at St. James Hall - featuring Andre Brunet (Celtic Fiddle Festival, La Bottine Souriante, etc.) on fiddle, Pierre-Luc Dupuis (La Bottine) on accordion and harmonica, and Eric Beaudry (La Galvaude, Norouet, La Bottine etc.) on guitar and bouzouki. All three band members sing and they all drive the beat with their "coups de pieds" foot percussion. I would say that this trio is my Discovery of 2009. You won't find better players or a more exhilarating sound than this.
Here is a little article Tony Montague wrote about them recently:
De Temps Antan began life as a small Quebecois roots band within a much bigger one. Pierre-Luc Dupuis, André Brunet, and Eric Beaudry first got together as a trio while playing and touring as members of La Bottine Souriante, a 10-piece outfit with horns. But while La Bottine opened up new horizons for the musicians its size and volume - not to mention its cost - meant they couldn't play in smaller venues for traditional music. "The project for the trio was born in 2004 following a request by a friend who does bookings for a room," says Dupuis, "He wanted to hear the three of us playing together. It meant really bringing things down to basics, to the essence of the music."
The trio's name harks back to its early days, and is a pun that's largely lost in translation. The words mean Of Olden Times, an allusion to traditional music, but when spoken they sound the same as "de temps en temps", meaning 'from time to time'. "It's because we were only able to perform every now and then, between our commitments with La Bottine," says Dupuis, speaking in French. "We still managed to tour a bit and to make an album, À L'Année. Since then André has left La Bottine, and I left last fall. But Eric - who plays bouzouki, mandolin, and guitar - remains a member."
Whether they're great or small, touring outside of French Canada has become the life-blood for Quebecois roots bands these days. "Our music is already popular in some parts of the US," says Dupuis, De Temps Antan's accordionist and harmonica-player. "Traditional music is only really big in Quebec during the Christmas holidays, and it's become associated with that period by many people. The rest of the time you have to fight hard for attention. Recognition at home always seems to take longer to come."
Nevertheless home, in a more localized sense, is very much at the heart of De Temps Antan and the source of much of its music. "A lot comes from our own families," says Dupuis, who like all the members of the trio is a singer. "On the album especially there's a lot from the village of St. Côme where Eric was born. He's got many songs and tunes from there," Dupuis continues. "And he also inherited the work of someone in the village who collected back in the '60s, among them Eric's granddad, an excellent fiddle-player. So you get a sense of the richness of just one little corner of the country. Our aim is to keep the essence of that music, but to have an open-minded attitude. In short, to let it live."
De Temps Antan performed at Festival du Bois in March, and made their Rogue debut the following night. What a show they put on! Such power and drive, yet every nuance of every note is highlighted - even when they are playing those crooked reels at hyper-speed! Definitely the most powerful and exciting Québecois band we've heard in a long time. Maybe all time. When we heard that they were coming back to perform with an orchestra to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the French community of Maillardville in October we jumped at the chance to present them again at St. James Hall. We'd love to see you there tonight! Website: www.detempsantan.qc.ca
Also this weekend:
Eric Bogle & John Munro - two Scotsmen living in Australia - make what could be their last appearance in Vancouver on Friday October 2nd at Capilano Performing Arts Theatre (Eric is threatening to stop touring after this lengthy sojourn around the world. He's still writing great songs, and is a fabulous entertainer. Writes songs about dead animals (usually hilarious) and dead humans (usually tragic) and romantic aspirations (usually unrequited!) Great fun! Tickets from the Cap Box Office on 604-990-7810
Contra Dance at St. James Hall. The ever-popular Sybaritic String Band and guest caller Sherry Nevins will have you strutting your stuff on Saturday night at 8pm. Instructions are provided from 7:45, and each dance is taught on the spot. There's no need to bring a partner, but if you bring goodies to share you get in for half price. The music is a fine blend of Celtic, Quebecois, and Old Time fiddle tunes.
Chris Smither launches his new CD, Time Stands Still, on Sunday October 4th at Capilano Performing Arts Theatre. A wonderful story telling songwriter, with deep roots in the Blues, Chris is a brilliant guitar picker and wordsmith, and the new CD is brim full of classic new songs - and a couple of excellent covers. Tickets from the Cap Box Office on 604-990-7810
Tune in to The Edge On Folk on Saturday from 8am to 12 noon on CiTR fm 101.9 www.citr.ca for four hours of the very best in Roots, Folk & World Music. I'll have new releases by the aforementioned Mr. Smither, plus Rattle In The Boards (traditional dance music from Tipperary, Ireland. They'll be in town next week - October 8th - at St. James Hall,) Vermont fiddler / singer Lissa Schneckenburger (she's opening for them,) California's remarkable songbird Corinne West (who plays St. James with Doug Cox the following night,) more great new music from young English singer Ruth Notman, a bonus track or two from Eliza Carthy, some vintage English folk dance reggae from Edward II, two hot new Cajun bands Bonsoir Catin and Bijou Creole, Australia's The Audreys, Ontario's Beyond The pale, BC's Kendel Carson, more from the Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Cd on Black Hen Music, and whatever else tickles my fancy - and yours!
If you can't wait that long for your radio / computer to treat your ears, point your browser to Radio Rogue (see instructions on our home page) for a continuous stream of over 1,200 choice selections - including all of the musicians mentioned above.
Hope to see you tonight. It really will be a fabulous show!