I mentioned yesterday that there were two groups whose music we heard for the first time at Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette, LA. We mentioned Tuba Skinny, and today we will write about an energized trio from the province of Prince Edward Island.
On Saturday, we had just heard Tuba Skinny on one of the six stages throughout the area of downtown Lafayette, and since we had good seats in the shade, we decided to hear this new group before hearing Carol Fran’s performance.
After reading the group’s brief bio, we settled back to listen: “Ten Strings And A Goat Skin, a young bilingual trad/folk/fusion trio celebrating the music of the Irish, Acadien, French, and Maritime cultures, is known for a rare musicality that belies the musicians’ ages.
“Integrating modern and world rhythms with traditional and original tunes, they create a fiery, contagious and unique sound that is increasingly catching the attention of Canadian and international stages.”
From the git-go, the group’s name caught our attention. It could have been called “Fiddle, Guitar, and Drum”—just as accurate, but a name that does nothing to stir the imagination or give rise to anticipation.
So, with our curiosity piqued, we sat back to listen to Ten Strings and a Goatskin: three young musicians and best friends, high school senior and university freshmen, Jesse Périard (guitar), and brothers Rowen Gallant (violin) and Caleb Gallant (bodhràn), hailing from the North Shore of Prince Edward Island.
And yet with the frenetic energetic displayed in their playing, the three members played as one. Much like the wheels of the engine that are joined by the bar that moves the engine’s wheels in synch with each revolution, the three were joined by a mental connection that moved the motion of their playing in an unimaginably well-synchronized fashion.
And as if to give evidence to the energy of the group’s playing, these four young women spontaneously performed what I would guess was an Irish dance.
The drum is struck with the other arm (usually the right) and is played either with the bare hand or with a lathe-turned double-ended piece of wood (ash, holly, or hickory) called a bone, tipper, beater, or cipín (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhr%C3%A1n).
So, it should come as no surprise that we caught this group for one of its two performances on Sunday.
(I think they will be appearing at the Philadelphia Folk Festival this summer.)