Vishtèn debuts a fresh Celtic-Acadian sound at the Arden Theatre

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PREVIEW
Vishtèn
Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Arden Theatre
5 St. Anne Street
Tickets: $36 Call 780-4549-1542 or at http://www.ticketmaster.ca

Direct from Prince Edward Island, Vishtèn brings Canada’s exhilarating Celtic-Acadian party music and melodious three-part harmonies to St. Albert’s Arden Theatre.

The East Coast singer-songwriter trio, composed of twins Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc, and Pascal Miousse, are on a western Canadian tour for their latest album Terre Rouge. This is the trio’s first stop in our neck of the woods.

For more than a decade, the band has earned its place criss-crossing Canada and on the international scene as powerful singers and fiery instrumentalists fusing Acadian-Celtic genres with rock and indie-folk.

With six albums under their belt, Vishtèn integrates the spirit of Acadian roots while putting a fresh spin on it. One reviewer dubbed their sound “neo-trad” and the moniker made its way onto the website.

“We all grew up in a place where there was traditional music – the house parties and learning music by ear. But we bring our sound to it. It’s not always traditional when it comes to the chords. We feel whatever the song needs, we put in. Some songs are traditional Acadian, but some songs have been influenced by different types of music,” said Emmanuelle LeBlanc.

An impressive instrumentalist she plays piano, foot percussion, tin whistle, jawharp and mandolin. Equally striking, her sister, Pastelle, plays piano and accordion while Miousse is a consummate violinist.

LeBlanc is speaking to the Gazette from her P.E.I. country house enjoying the golden light of autumn. It is where she was holed up writing songs for Terre Rouge.

“It was 2015 and we received 18 feet of snow. It was the heaviest dump since 1870 and it beat all records,” says LeBlanc reminiscing over the disaster.

“When you have those types of moments, there is no chaos, no TV, no news. It’s the perfect time to create within yourself.”

The trio’s previous album, Mosaïk, was more electric, more out there. Travelling across the world to promote an album is always a great adventure, but eventually touring took its toll, and P.E.I., ever the seductress, beckoned them back.

Eager to stay in one place writing and recording, Vishtèn opted to create Terre Rouge rooted in the island.

“There’s the beauty of P.E.I.. There’s a glow to it. The rust tint of the soil against the blue of the ocean is incredible. We have the best fresh seafood you can find in Canada and the people are very friendly. And it’s a great place to write.”

To infuse the 12-track with a complete island flavour, they recorded Terre Rouge in an old house at Malpeque Bay, an area famous for its oysters and secluded beaches. It is also where some of the first Acadian pioneers settled in the early 1700s.

Revealing a newfound musical maturity, the lively and uptempo songs are filled with humour and depth. Several of the album’s top songs are Terre Rouge, Trois Blizzards, Coq du Sud and Sarazine.

Vishtèn performs a bilingual concert at the Arden Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 9. While they sing in French, the patter of stories is in English.

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About Author

Anna Borowiecki

Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.