“Get ready world, this group is already really, really good and on its way to greatness.” – WPR, Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Dig up Québec’s deep, dark musical roots, add electrifying energy, beguiling modesty, and a mind-blowing trad-folk groove et voila, Les Poules a Colin!
Like the children of many artists who were part of the folk music ‘boom’ of the sixties, seventies and eighties, the young folks who form Les Poules à Colin are part of continuing the tradition, and of taking it somewhere new. The group’s four women, Beatrix Méthé (fiddle and vocals), Sarah Marchande (piano and vocals), Eléonore Pitre (guitar), Marie Savoie-Levac (bass) and Colin Savoie-Levac (mandolin, guitar, banjo, foot percussion) were all raised in musician families in the Lanaudière region of Québec. In Lanaudière traditional music is in the air, handed down through generations. Raised behind the scenes at folk festivals, learning their craft at kitchen parties among some of Quebec’s finest traditional musicians – including their parents – this next generation carries those traditions forward, while adding songs and sounds of their own. (The group’s name is taken from a traditional song with a bit of a wink, in English “Colin’s Hens”.)
You can hear a seamless blend of their strong folk upbringing in their music, along with North American influences that range from old-time to jazz, with some provocative and moody effects. Their repertoire is a mix of original and traditional, primarily in French but with some English compositions, and reveals a glorious vocal, instrumental and rhythmic prowess. Their adaptations of traditional songs from Québec, Brittany and Louisiana speak eloquently to their generation while retaining the beauty of the timeless music of the past.
When people talk about “living tradition” we think they mean Les Poules à Colin. See them at the festival all weekend.