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!) Continue reading “Festival du Bois trip, Day 1: Saturday!”
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. :D
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.