I know that so far this website, aimed at promoting (in my humble opinion) great music in Montreal has been mostly focused on rock bands. However, in the few times I get to see a great show that is completely outside of my usual interest and knowledge in music (by that I mean that I usually see rock shows, not that there aren’t good shows outside of rock!!!!) , well, I feel the need to write about it. I don’t know much about Québec traditional music, so when I went to the opening night of the Musique Du Monde à Montréal festival, I realized I have a lot to learn about music that is rooted in my own culture.
The show had very popular Montreal storyteller Fred Pellerin’s brother, Nicolas Pellerin along with his band Les Grands Hurleurs headlining the night. Supporting the evening was Montreal’s own Maz, which was as much a discovery for me as Nicolas Pellerin was. As guest musician and 1st opener, the Mopti, Mali-born percussionist Adama Daou.
Daou opened the night for a brief set, solo, playing the Balafon perfection, his timing impeccable, and his master for the instrument obvious.
Next was Maz.
Now, imagine an instrumental band with instruments ranging from electric guitar, banjo, violin, double-bass to a Rhodes and Wurlitzer. even though the music was based in traditional music, its influence ranged from Middle-Eastern sounds to the Rhodes and Wurlitzer providing a layer that sounded nearly psychedelic – if you were to isolate it, it could very well be found on a Pink Floyd record.
After a brief intermission, Nicolas Pellerin et Les Grands Hurleurs took the stage for over an hour’s worth of immensely energetic music that had drive, passion and something that also sounded modern in its delivery. This may just be my opinion, but the acoustic rhythm guitar had something that reminded me of early American folk music as much as I thought I heard some 70’s punk in there. Ultimately, it was a great tribute to the music that provided the soundtrack, over a hundred years ago, to those who came before us. But hey, it’s 2012, and the way his songs were structured definitely had an equally modern feel to it.
At the end of the show, all the musicians gathered on stage for a few epic tunes.
I encourage you to discover these artists if you aren’t familiar with the genres. It was pretty eye opening for me.
Here are a few links to check them out:
Nicolas Pellerin & Les Grands Hurleurs: http://www.myspace.com/nicolaspellerin
Special thanks to Nicolas Pellerin, Marc Maziade and Adama Daou for taking time to talk to a drunken stranger and providing extra insight.