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“La Ziguezon”: 40 plus years for this call-and-response song celebrated ...

Jean Desrochers, artistic director of Festival Memoire et Racines in Québec, got a brilliant idea this past summer. He put a group of five superb singers from diverse cultural backgrounds in a park with huge trees with two camera operators ...
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Festival Mémoire et Racines 2021: Re-starting this legendary festival

  You’ve been really missing live music, and you’ve been missing even more the live music that is weekend-long music festivals. With the re-start of Festival Mémoire et Racines in Joliette, QC next month (July 23-25), the wait for some ...
Album review

Pete’s Posse – Ya Know, Ya Never Know

It’s epic. Not only do we have a two disc set from the Posse here, but a newly minted Canadian too. Dyed in the wool Vermonter Tristan Henderson, married his Québecoise sweetheart and moved to Montreal last year (yes they ...
Album review

Grosse Isle – Le Bonhomme Sept Heures / The Bonesetter

  Québec and Ireland have a long and intertwined cultural relationship that goes back centuries. In 1847, at the height of the great potato famine of 1845 to 1852, 441 ships sailed for Québec, and many on board were sick ...
Album review

Nicolas Boulerice – Maison de Pierres 

It is said that English is a very technical language, and that in contrast, French is much more poetic. You hear this nature of the language very clearly on this new recording in the perfect and atmospheric singing of Nicolas ...
Album review

Alexis Chartrand and Colin Savoie-Levac – Le Tranino

Two of the finest young players in Québec’s traditional music scene got together in a studio one weekend last September and jammed, improvising arrangements while their friend recorded them.  The result is a simply superb collection of tunes from the ...
Album review

Nathan Smith – Let It Rest, Let It Rise

Lovely and listenable. That’s my first reaction to this fantastic new CD from Toronto fiddler Nathan Smith. It’s a first studio album from Nathan, who grew up in northern Ontario, in North Bay, where he had French Canadian, classical, bluegrass, ...
Album review

Emilyn Stam and John David Williams – Honeywood

Of course, you’d like a trip to Europe, but there’s a pandemic on, tethering our wanderlust to places here at home. But we can conjure our wanderings in other ways, listening to this lovely music being one. This beautiful album, ...
Feature

I know it’s nice out, but you do NOT want ...

Festival Mémoire et Racines, the biggest and most loved folk festival in Québec, is, of course, not happening this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s sad, but inevitable, given that we all must physically distance ourselves. Live music with ...
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Together Apart: Tony Oxford’s tribute to essential workers

I met singer and guitarist Tony Oxford on the docks in St. John’s, NL a couple of years ago. We were about to spend two weeks together on an expedition ship circumnavigating Newfoundland. Tony was one of the musicians in ...