Ten Strings And A Goat Skin celebrates the spirit of musical community on Auprès du Poêle

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Auprès du Poêle launches June 10

Canadian album launch concerts :
June 30 – The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse – The Pourhouse, Charlottetown, PEI
July 2 – The Trailside Café, Mount Stuart, PEI
July 3 – The Souris Show Hall, Souris, PEI
July 7 – Hugh’s Room, Toronto, ON
July 8 – Almonte Celtfest, Almonte, ON
July 9-10 – Mariposa Folk Festival, Orillia, ON
July 13 – Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC
July 15-17 – Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Vancouver, BC
July 22 – Summerside Lobster Festival, Summerside, PEI
Aug. 6 – Tide & Boar, Moncton, NB
Aug. 7 – Festival Acadien de Clare, Clare, NS
Aug. 13 – Cloggeroo Festival, Georgetown, PEI
Aug. 14 – Festival Acadie de Caraquet, Caraquet, NB
Aug. 15 – Conseil communautaire Beausoleil, Miramichi, NB
Aug. 15 – Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne, Fredericton, NB
Sept. 22 – Deep Roots Festival, Wolfville, NS

It was late fall and early winter in Joliette, Quebec – the epicentre of traditional Quebecois music in Canada.
PEI’s emerging young traditional music stars Ten Strings And A Goat Skin are in the studio recording their new album with Leonard Podolak of the Grammy-nominated Duhks.
A veritable who’s who of traditional music is streaming in and out of the studio – some to play a few bars, some just to say hello and spread some cheer: the legendary Yves Lambert and his La Bottine Souriante co-founder André Marchand; pianist and accordionist Josianne Hébert; members of Les Poules à Colin – the band featuring the daughter of iconic Quebecois musician Claude Methé – and members of the Duhks.

It started to feel like … well darn it, like home! A tight-knit circle of neighbours who get each other through the frigid winters by filling their nights with music and good cheer.

So was born Auprès du Poêle (English: “Around the woodstove”), a sizzling album that celebrates community and survival, both lyrically and in the circumstances of its creation.

It’s a beautiful collection of songs and tunes marked by the magical joie de vivre of traditional Quebecois music; the heart rending balladry of English, Irish, and Scottish folk; the flawless, rip-roaring, kick-up-your-heals musicianship of the grand Celtic ensembles; and the breathtaking harmonies of great trad groups the world over.
The album’s opener, “Ukrainian Expedition,” showcases the trio’s compositional chops, stitching together four hopping tunes –three originals and the Irish traditional “Coal Miners’ Reel” – each one building in tempo and intensity until you can practically see smoke coming off the players’ fingers.

“When I First Came to Caledonia” is a sorrowful cover of the traditional Cape Breton ballad delivered with goose-bump-inducing three-part harmonies.

“Maluron Lurette” is a traditional Breton piece that overflows with the spirit of the Joliette region and all of the barn burning Quebecois music that’s come out of it.

And the closing number, “Duhk Duhk Goat,” a worldly collaboration with members of the Duhks, fuses Swedish, Quebecois, Maritime and American Old-Time tunes in a salute to the respective cultures of the key players on the track: Anna Lindblad, Colin Savoie-Levac, and Leonard Podolak of the Duhks and the members of Ten Strings.
Two tracks on the album deserve special mention for their absurd inspiration: “Mustard Foldies,” one of the tunes that make up the opening number, is inspired by the white bread mustard sandwiches allegedly consumed by some Maritimes college students. “Lament for Buckles” is an ode to a band member’s sick pet bunny, who died right in the middle of a party celebrating – wait for it – the fact that he hadn’t died yet.

They’re a reminder that, as easily and flawlessly as Ten Strings And A Goat Skin channels the greatest musicians of their genre, they are also an entirely new generation of players, offering new interpretations of their musical heritage.

Born into an Acadian musical family in Rustico, PEI, Rowen and Caleb Gallant (yes, of thee Gallant family) formed Ten Strings with Jessie Périard, a Fredericton-born musician of Scottish and Québois ancestry. The trio released their debut album, Tri, less than five years ago and earned a 2012 ECMA nod for Roots and Traditional Group Recording of the Year. They also took home a 2012 Music PEI Award for Roots Traditional Recording of the year.
Since the release of their 2013 sophomore outing, Corbeau, they’ve signed agency deals in Canada, the US, the UK, France and Switzerland and have toured the world. And that’s got them playing hotter and sounding tighter than ever …and continuing to refine their new generation approach to traditional music.

Corbeau went to #6 on Billboard’s world catalogues album chart and earned the band a second ECMA nod and a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for New/Emerging Artist of the Year. It also earned praise from Radio-Canada, who said the band plays traditional music with all the fire and energy youth can muster. Brian O’Donovan of Boston’s venerated Burren – which hosts major international trad luminaries such as Sharon Shannon and the Tannahill Weavers – called Ten Strings “probably one of the most exciting and progressive new roots groups to come through the Burren in some time … and they are just kids.” He added, “The future for these boys is huge.”

With the release of Auprès du Poêle, Ten Strings And A Goat Skin is on track to live up to O’Donovan’s prediction. These old musical souls in youthful form are gearing up to be Canada’s next massive stars on the global trad circuit.

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