Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quick Hitters:: Marie-Pierre Arthur

Surprisingly, the most well received showcase at M for Montreal was the afternoon Francophone series on the last day. As an English speaker, I was surprised by how into the artists some of the delegates were (yes, it took me a while that for some of them, trying to decipher English lyrics is just as hard as French) but the talent the festival pulled together really helped keep the interest up.

First - before I go much further - apologies to Malajube. In the past, I dismissed them as enjoyable but little more. When they took the stage Saturday night in front of 2000 people what I once viewed as quaint and charming French rock blossomed into songs of epic stature that filled the room. I wish they could have played for an hour, not a slim thirty minutes, but they certainly won over a critic that had locked them in a box that certainly didn't fit.

But the act that really blew me away, maybe my favorite set of the whole weekend, was the lovely and talented Marie-Pierre Arthur. With little fanfare, she strapped on a McCartney looking bass, stood front and center, and she and her talented band proceeded to charm/rock/impress a room full of strangers, most of whom couldn't understand what she was saying. The emotion she presented however, was never lost in translation. Heads nodded along to uptempo jams like Elle but when the spacey folk elements of the band stood up to be noticed, an appreciative hush fell over the crowd.

Her band was obviously filled with talented musicians, but none of the players overstepped their role. Solos were natural and tasteful, fills and harmonies fit like a perfect embrace and they moved around Marie-Pierre's voice like Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment (beautifully, never missing a step). I have no idea where Marie-Pierre fits into the mix - I do know she had the room in the palm of her hand - but I hope the she gets the chance to showcase her talent to a larger audience soon. The record touches on so many styles (even the bluesy Tout Ca Pour Ca works for the band) that I find it hard to believe you won't be smitten by at least one track.

MP3:: Marie-Pierre Arthur - Elle
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/mariepierrearthur
WEB:: http://www.mariepierrearthur.com/

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Posted at 7:53 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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