Les Poules à Colin pop in to folk fest

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CANMORE – Canmore’s Folk Music Festival is the next stop on Quebec’s Les Poules à Colin tour and the five members of the traditional folk band are no strangers to being in the thick of such concerts.

In fact, as youngsters, the band members grew up with them and learned secrets of some of the best traditional musicians along the way.

“We met in traditional music events in Quebec; at parties, and festivals, and jam sessions,” said Colin Savoie-Levac, the stringed-instrument maestro of Les Poules à Colin. “The way we formed (as a band) is we had known each other forever.”

Les Poules à Colin performs Aug. 6 from 4:30-5:20 p.m. on the Stan Rogers stage, and so far for the young core of talented musicians – Savoie-Levac (guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals), Sarah Marchand-Lebossé (piano, vocals), Béatrix Méthé (violin, vocals), Éléonore Pitre (guitar, vocals), and Marie Savoie-Levac (bass, vocals) – it’s been a nine-year, three-album journey showcasing traditional-folk mixed with old-timey jazz, and hints of catchy pop shredded on top.

In 2017, Les Poules à Colin dropped a third album, Morose, on the strength of its previous two albums Ste-Waves (2014), which was nominated at Quebec’s ADISQ for best traditional album of the year, and Hébertisme Nocturne (2011).

“We’re still touring Morose,” he said. “It’s still fairly new and we’ve done a lot of playing since then. Summer season, summer is going to be very busy, with touring that album.”

Being from Quebec, the lyrics are mainly in French, however, Les Poules à Colin’s dramatic tunes and distinctive style holds no language barrier as they’ve successfully attracted new fans from each city and town they’ve played in.

“We’re kind of lucky that way,” Savoie-Levac said.

“We came from the folk fest world, traditional music, and have a love for the music … Anglos and Francophones, older and younger, we’re more of a pop approach to the music than certain other bands.

”The band has toured throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Australia, and now has a first performance in Alberta at the Canmore Folk Music Festival on their radar.

“We take a set list that flows well and keeps the audience in a certain mood and build to make it exciting, with different vibes and stuff,” he said. “A common thread throughout the show is having dramatic intros and outros, there is a common thread in there, and every song is its own little story.

“There are so many new bands at these festivals, and it’s amazing hearing these younger talents.”

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Jordan Small