An Evening of Folk, and Country Music, With a Lot of Soul

An Evening of Folk, and Country Music, With a Lot of Soul

Article and photos by Job Patstone

Friday evening on 19th October, marked the first show in a series of presentations at the Polyvalente de l’Ancienne Lorette under their “les Soirées Palpitantes” entertainment program, which if translated, would be something like “Exciting Nights”.

The program is supported by the Caisse Populaire du Piémont Laurentien with some Government help from their provincial deputy Eric Caire, who was on hand for the show.

About 200 people filled the plush auditorium and were entertained for two hours by a group of three different artists each with their own style of music, which made for a very pleasant evening of song and yep, even a little dancing.

First up was Emilie Clepper seen here singing one of her compositions called “I’ve Got no Love Today” accompanied by her favorite banjo player. Emilie classifies her music as Country -Folk and indeed she falls right into that category by the very fact that she shares her time between Texas and Quebec, having parents from both places. 27 year old Emilie writes her own stuff and has a clear sweet voice with a special guitar pickin’ talent to boot. She has two albums to her credit, the second one entitled “What you See” available since February, was for sale at the show.

Second up was Quebec City’s own Randall Spear, a well known folk singer referred to locally as just plain “Randy”.

Now 44, he has been singing in and around Quebec City for about 20 years and although he writes most of his own material, which is often sung by other artists, he does great renditions of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, two artists that he considers his mentors.

His song “Rise Above” accompanied by Sophie Denis and Richard Drouin (guitar) had the crowd enthusiastically singing along, with its strong country beat and lively lyrics. The crowd demanded an “encore” performance from Randall and he didn’t disappoint.

Randy has two albums on the market, the latest being “Someone to Help Me” available now in most record stores. Randall is excited about his upcoming Western Canadian tour which will feature his regular repertoire plus a song he wrote especially for an environmental cause.

Last up, after a fifteen minute intermission, came a young popular singer named Clio who changed the whole rhythm of the evening. Clio is pure soul with a powerful voice and a matching stage presence.

Singing in French and English, her Black roots music style first took the crowd by surprise, but was soon followed by complete involvement by everyone in the audience. She quickly gained control over the spectators and her musicians, then kicking off her shoes, turned the whole hall into a rockin’, dancin’ celebration; there was no lookin’ back after that.

To make her act even more energetic, the stage hands cracked open a bottle of champagne to honour her birthday right on stage.

Her first album “My First Blues” recorded in English will soon be followed by her second in French, being arranged conjointly with her lead guitarist Guillaume Tondreau.

Speaking to Clio, she described her music as “radical soul-blues” which makes a lot of sense.

The last presentation was a solid rendition of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall be Released” with all three musicians sharing the stage and vocals in a quiet single guitar version of the song, closing out the evening in a professional, and at the same time emotional manner, which had me almost in tears.

Categories: Arts & Culture, News

About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.

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