Like old world storytellers, Genticorum is full of mischief performing nifty sleight of hand rhythms from their native Quebec.
Add to that a few bawdy jokes, and it’s not hard to see why this award-winning powerhouse trio from la belle province is deserving of their growing international reputation.
Having last performed at the 2010 Edmonton Folk Fest, the threesome returns this time to St. Albert’s Arden Theatre on Friday, Nov. 4.
Blending pan cultural styles of several immigrant cultures, the traditional Genticorum combines fiery francophone reels and the Celtic tradition with dashes of rock, funk and jazz.
They have four albums under their belt, the last of which is the 2011 release of Nagez Rameurs, a live-off-the-floor collection of sophisticated story songs and instrumentals about voyages and voyageurs.
“The first three CDs we released had no theme. We just picked songs we liked that were to our taste. Nagez Rameurs is our first concept CD,” says guitarist/singer Yann Falquet. “It is about voyageurs travelling throughout North America and colonizing. We sing about the forest, the natives, the struggles of living in winter. There are very rich themes revolving around the CD, and personally I like songs with a strong North American feel.”
He is best known to locals for his work with The McDades. Falquet met Solon and Jeremiah at a number of freewheeling Celtic jam sessions during the brothers’ stint at McGill University in 2002 and later toured with them for three years.
But The McDades was more of a side operation. Falquet, who has a bachelor’s degree in jazz, reserved his deepest passions for the traditional folk music of Genticorum.
Back in 2000 Falquet met Alexandre de Grosbois-Garand, a funk-Latin-jazz composer/arranger/bassist and Pascal Gemme, a big band arranger with classical and guitar background, at Verre Bouteille, a popular musicians’ hang-out in Montreal that promoted jam sessions.
The threesomes launched their first album, Le Galarneau, in 2002 and have never looked back. As a trio they can drive through a reel like a tornado while swirling on fiddle, flute and guitar.
“We always try to go for the biggest sound possible,” Falquet says.
One of their trademarks is a roguish humour often injected into the quirky lyrics.
“Some of our songs have risquĂ© innuendos. Some are funny and cute and we amplify it to make it more entertaining.”
Although the threesome’s lyrics are exclusively sung in French, Falquet would like to reassure audiences that their patter in between songs is completely in English.
“We want people to understand our songs and have fun.”
Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $32. Call 780-459-1542 or purchase online at: www.ticketmaster.ca