They’re inviting a new circle of listeners Auprès du Poêle (“around the woodstove”; release: June 12, 2016) for sometimes moody, sometimes high-energy set of original and traditional songs. Expanding on the Scottish and Acadian roots of PEI’s traditional music, Ten Strings and a Goatskin weave old-school Franco-Canadian, Breton, Irish, and Scottish tunes with wickedly current grooves and clever quirks, flirting with indie’s best moments.
“We’re less anchored in traditional structures, the way many players assemble dance sets,” remarks Rowen Gallant, one of the trio’s string players. “We’ve left them by the wayside. We retain the melodic elements, but we’re not opposed to messing with things.”
It’s been a lifelong anchor for the Gallants, who remember travelling with their mother to Irish and Scottish music sessions around the Canadian Maritimes. They started a band with schoolmate and guitarist Jesse Périard, sticking to traditional repertoire at first. Soon, however, inspired by musicians friends from PEI’s lively avant-pop and rock scene, they began exploring new approaches to arranging and began crafting their own songs and instrumentals.
Yet the trio never forgets its powerful ties to the many musics of PEI, the island’s rich mix of Celtic and Francophone elements that ramble from mouth music to foot percussion. Originals take their cues sonically from this wealth and lyrically from a deeply felt connection to the history of Eastern Canada (“Caledonia”).
“They make music based in PEI’s folk traditions, with a drive and perspective that blows the cobwebs off any outdated view of folk music well offshore….music well worth your exploration.”
Perceptive Travel – Ireland – 2016