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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

French Canadian Music Hits the Spot. Concert on May 12 Brings It Alive!


When I first moved to Southern Vermont in 1976 (Weathersfield) I quickly became involved in contra dancing and the rich and inviting culture of live music that fueled dance floors in church halls, granges, town halls and rural dance barns.  It doesn't take much for me to remember those nights at Palmer's Dance Barn in Unity, the Acworth and Dublin town halls, Chelsea House, Green Street School and many others. 

The music continues to be a mix of Irish, American, Scottish and French Canadian fiddle tunes played with clean phrasing and bouncy rhythm meant to get the dancers out on the floor and keep them there - sometimes 'til dawn! Of all the music styles I discovered in those years, the Quebecois tunes held a special charm. Who could help but get involved in the swinging arpeggios of Reel de Jeune Maries, Old French, You Married My Daughter But You Didn't, La Bastringue and many more.

In the 1980s my friends and I took a number of trips to Quebec to visit folks like Philippe Bruneau, the master diatonic accordion player and composer. When attending dances in Quebec it was clear that these traditions were just as alive north of the border as in New England. There is today a wonderful back and forth of musicians, tunes and dances that keeps us all connected in the pursuit of this vital community musical culture of dance and music.

While at the Carefour Mondiale de l'Accordion in Montmagny, Quebec last September I ran into a powerhouse group called Le Bruit Court dans la Ville.  It supposedly means something like 'the big noise about town'.  And yes, this group is going to be the big noise in West Brattleboro on Friday, May 12 at 7:30 pm. The concert takes place in the beautiful First Congregational Church of West Brattleboro - right between Academy School and our new West Brattleboro fire station!  That is probably a good location because this band is very hot when they crank out the traditional songs and tunes of Quebec.

The band is made up of three established masters of the genre: Lisa Ornstein on violin, Andre Marchand on guitar and Normand Miron on diatonic accordion. Tickets are $20 or $15. Call Andy Davis for more information. 257-1819 <andy@dancingmasters.com>

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