Franklin Countys First News

French Canadian Trio brings soul food To Old South

Photo shoot with Marie-Pierre Lecault, Dominic Desrochers, and Jean-François Dumas for the launch of Bon Débarras' new album "En panne de silence" at Espace Urbain, Quebec, Canada on October 25, 2016. Photo: Vitor Munhoz

FARMINGTON - One of Montreal’s top bands, an up-tempo and bouncy French Canadian trio, Bon Debarras (means “Good Riddance”) will perform on Thursday, Nov. 1 as part of Farmington’s Old South Church Concert Series.

The Montreal-based trio’s name roughly translates into "Good Riddance." But in an odd paradox, the group’s energetic traditional step dancing generally evokes a "wow." Bon Débarras spokesperson Jean-Francoise Dumas patiently explains that the choice of their quirky moniker was based on two things. “Bon Débarras has two meanings. One is ‘good riddance’ and good riddance is about getting rid of sorrow, anger and all negative energy. We let it go when we play music. We let it out. Also in French, débarras is a place to keep old stuff you don’t want to get rid of. We are like a storage closet where we can go and find traditional influences and inspiration.”

Bon Débarras was born from a chance encounter between three dynamic artists uniting the worlds of music, dance and poetry. Changes have occurred among the members, remaining true to their roots, while exploring composition and music styles including folk, trad and slam… an American crossroads where tradition and modernity meet. Their energy taps into the rhythms of today and ventures boldly on the multi-faceted road to tomorrow’s dreams. Folklore (from folk, meaning “people,” and lore, meaning “knowledge”) refers to all collective productions by the people that are orally transmitted from generation to generation (tales, stories, songs) or through example (music, dance, rites, beliefs, savoir-faire). Folklore defines who we are and traces our origins. Bon Débarras’ inspiration comes from their home base, Montreal, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in North America, crati

With their latest album, En panne de silence, Bon Débarras moves boldly into a repertoire that is almost entirely original, steeped in poetry and rhythmic urban sounds – and even a touch of First Nations influence. More innovative than ever, the trio remains true to the rhythms of French-speaking America with those unambiguous Quebec flavors supported by a newcomer – the fiddle. And that’s how, over the years, this warm-hearted band has been able to carry on an identity, a style and an energy-filled zest for life quite unique and beautifully served by the versatility of the musicians as well as their daring jigging and vivid body percussion. Since its birth, the band has played throughout Canada, the United States, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom as well as making regular appearances in France.

You need a live performance of the trio to fully experience the many traditions of francophone America which coexist in their swing and in a repertoire now mostly made of original compositions sometimes overflowing with rhythmic poetry. The stage is set for jigs, dances and some blazing body percussions, because their distinctive physical atmosphere embedded in their music is definitely Bon Débarras’ trademark. And you need the heartfelt warmth of Dominic Desrochers, Jean-François Dumas and third and not least Marie-Pierre Lecault when they slow down their mad tempo for a tender love song, a quiet folk tune or a foray into Innu traditions, touching upon some of Québec’s deepest roots. The depth of the musical atmospheres on the album is carried by the musicians’ versatility and proficiency on a panoply of instruments – guitar, banjo, fiddle, viola, harmonica, Jew’s harp, ukulele, rhythmically supported by the cajon and podorythms. Bon Débarras’ music is not only an antioxidant for the soul, it will tickle your inner silence with a compelling energy calling for foot stomping and dancing! It is guaranteed that you leave this Bon Debarras performance with a goofy smile on your face and a spring in your step.

For more information about the band

Doors open at 6 p.m., jam session kicks off at 6:15 p.m. with Bon Debarras will take the stage at 7 p.m. Admission: Adults $15, Students $10/$5. Refreshments available by donation. Ticket reservations are recommended by calling 207-491-5919. Visit in the “Get Connected” section for upcoming concerts and events. Old South First Congregational Church is located at 235 Main Street in Farmington.

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