A Propos, the CBC Radio program that features francophone music and the sounds of Quebec, joins in the celebration of Guitar Month on CBC Music. For the occasion, host Jim Corcoran — himself an admired guitarist by many francophone music lovers — presents a two-part radio series celebrating all kinds of guitars and all kinds of guitar styles.
Discover some of Quebec’s and the French world’s finest guitarists, as well as francophone songs that feature great guitar playing. As Corcoran puts it: “We’re not looking for hot licks and wild solos — although we did find a few — but we are looking for attitude and the signature use of this very versatile instrument.”
The program, which airs Nov. 18 and 24, features guitar-playing songwriters, with different styles, attitudes, tunings and backgrounds. They can be a virtuoso or an honest beginner who simply has a song to sing. You’ll also hear many forms of the guitar: acoustic, electric, slide, bass, even the Portuguese cavaquinho and the Arabic oud.
Read on for a preview on the people and styles A Propos will be celebrating.
The first guitar player and songwriter who blew Corcoran away in the 1970s was Dick Annegarn.
“He changed the way I used my guitar when writing a song in French,” says Corcoran. Born in the Netherlands, Annegarn went on to write and perform songs in French. His guitar style is very original and distinctive. Witness him playing the song “Bébé éléphant” in this vintage video from 1973.
One of Quebec’s finest guitarists is certainly Montreal’s Jordan Officer. Some of you might have heard him with the Susie Arioli Band, as well as alongside bluesman Stephen Barry. He also has a great solo career, and his live performances are always impressive. See for yourself.
Another guitarist featured on A Propos is Quebec’s Daniel Bélanger, an excellent guitar player, singer and lyricist. “Everything he has done for almost 25 years has been brilliant,” according to Corcoran. Watch Bélanger as he performs the song “Reste” in his studio.
The electric guitar
Since becoming fascinated by the electric guitar in 1968, Corcoran has had quite a few favourite guitarists. Ever since he heard Quebec’s Olivier Langevin, he has felt great enthusiasm for his playing.
“Though I don’t play electric guitar, if I did, I would want to sound like Olivier Langevin," says Corcoran. "He is a world-class kick-ass rock 'n' roller.”
Langevin is the lead singer and guitarist of the band Galaxie, and also a sought-after collaborator by many artists such as Mara Tremblay, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Fred Fortin and Vincent Vallières. Watch Langevin here with his band Galaxie, performing “Piste 1.”
And if you want to learn about Corcoran’s rock 'n' roll baptism, and the electric guitar solo that got him instantly fascinated and drawn to visceral amplified guitar playing, well, you’ll just have to tune in to A Propos on Sunday!
Personal guitar styles
“The guitar is a fabulously versatile and portable music instrument, no two guitarists play it the same way, no two guitarists sound alike,” says Corcoran.
Some musicians are not so experimental and outlandish with their guitar playing; they might be more discrete and unassuming. Nevertheless, they have created beautiful guitar-driven songs. To give you a sense of some of these artists, Corcoran speaks of Jean Leloup, Philippe B, Moran, Brad Barr and many others, such as Luc de Larochellière.
Discover many more guitar-driven songs from Quebec and the francophone world by tuning in to A Propos, Sunday at 4 p.m. (4:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Radio 2 and Saturday at 11 p.m. (6 p.m. AT and 6:30 NT on Radio One).
on Nov 16, 2012