HANOVER, NH—Quebec’s lively, rough-hewn traditional music comes to the Dartmouth Green with virtuosity, flair and audience-winning high energy when De Temps Antan performs on Thursday, August 4, 5:30 pm, as the third free outdoor concert in the Hop’s summer Free For All series.
The concert will be preceded at 4:30 pm with a free mini-lesson, open to all, in Québécois dance by Nils Fredland, an internationally renowned social dance musician and dance caller who also is Artistic Director of Revels North–which will focus on Québécois music and dance in this winter’s Christmas Revels. In case of rain, the concert takes place in Spaulding Auditorium and the dance workshop in the Hop Garage, near the Courtyard Café.
Powered by André Brunet’s ace fiddling, Éric Beaudry’s powerhouse rhythm guitar, bouzouki and clogging feet, and Pierre-Luc Dupuis’ punchy accordion, this is hard-driving acoustic music, with all three contributing hearty and haunting vocals. Rhythmically anchored by the “tac-tic-a-tac” of les pieds (a form of seated clogging found only in French Canada), they create a sound uniquely their own. “I like to mix folk with other styles like jazz, rock and blues,” Beaudry explained in an interview with Hearth Music. “I think you can do what you want over the tradition, but you should respect the original melody and the lyrics from the original version.”
The fusion works. Writes FolkWorks, “De Temps Antan add funky bridges between [reels] (one almost like a rock-style riff) and a coherent new piece of music emerges.” Writes RootsWorld, “De Temps Antan exhibit the high-energy, hot-fingered playing that makes their music both immediately infectious and continually engaging…While Québécois music is little known outside of Canada, De Temps Antan…show that this rootsy, hearty music could appeal to fans of music from across the Celtic diaspora from Cajun to Brittany – around the world.” The Huffington Post praised the “superb interaction and great joy in their presentation, and they feed off the energy in a room and get stronger with each song.”
All three grew up in Quebec’s musical tradition, in which songs are swapped in all-night parties and song sessions, and each were a part of the multi-platinum super group La Bottine Souriante. From Saint-Côme, a village in Quebec’s Lanaudière region, Beaudry began singing and playing guitar at the age of 10. A dedicated fieldworker and song-collector, he has traveled throughout Quebec collecting songs and tunes and also teaches traditional music at Joliette’s CEGEP régional de Lanaudière in 2002. Brunet grew up in Lacolle, in Quebec’s Montérégie region and was first drawn to music at a very young age, beginning violin lessons at age 9. Along with his brother Réjean, he created Les Frères Brunet and went on to record several albums and perform at various concerts around the world. He was the first Québécois fiddler to win top honors as Canadian Grand Master fiddler in 2008 and first place Ontario’s Annual Pembrooke Old Time Fiddling and Step Dancing Championships in 2009. Dupuis, born in Louiseville, in Quebec’s Mauricie region, began singing with his family at a very young age and took up the accordion at 18—and was soon performing and recording, joining La Bottine Souriante in 2003, one of the province’s best-known music groups.
The August 4 concert also paves the way for more great Québécois music, dance and culture this fall at the Hop. On Saturday, October 1, Revels North give free HopStop performances in Hanover and Claremont that offer a sampler of its upcoming Christmas Revels show. On December 15-18, that show will be performed in full in the Hop’s Spaulding Auditorium. The Christmas Revels: A French Canadian Celebration of the Winter Solstice takes us to rural old-time Quebec for the magical tale of the Flying Canoe. This classic story gets the full Revels treatment with colorful, high-energy songs, dance and pageantry, a multigenerational local cast and expert visiting artists, including the trio Genticorum.