If you missed hearing Les Poules À Colin — a traditional music band from Quebec — at the Moab Folk Festival last November, you’ll have another chance to catch this great act when the Canadian group returns to perform for the Moab Free Concert Series on Friday, July 12, at Swanny City Park.
The five-member multi-instrumentalist band from Montreal recently returned from a three-week tour in Europe, and has also performed in Australia and Africa.
Colin Savoie-Levac, who plays banjo, lapsteel, mandolin, foot percussion, and also sings, said their music is “inspired from Quebec traditional music — old-time songs we do and arrange in our own way. We blend old songs with new ideas.”
The group also includes Sarah Marchand-Lebossé on piano and lead vocals; fiddle-player Béatrix Méthé, who also sings lead vocals; Éléonore Pitre, on acoustic and electric guitar, and singing back vocals; and Marie Savoie-Levac performing electric bass and back vocals.
“We do a lot of fiddle, sort of Celtic fashion … call and response songs, French songs,” Savoie-Levac said. “It’s a lot of very joyful and happy music.”
The band’s last album, released in 2017, was titled “Morose,” which contained “darker, more dramatic, sad” songs with beautiful melodies, he noted.
The group writes a majority of its own music and is working on new material for an EP planned to be released this fall. The band performs songs both in English and French, with a bit of storytelling at times between the tunes.
“We’ll be premiering some of those songs,” Savoie-Levac said. “They’re our summertime tunes; we’re trying them out live.”
In Moab, expect to hear some foot tapping by the band members during the performance.
“We use our feet to give rhythm to the music. It’s typical of our tradition, too,” he said.
As children of folk musicians, all of the members of Les Poules À Colin grew up together listening to live music. The band has performed together for 11 years.
During the Moab Folk Festival, the group taught music workshops to elementary and middle-school students and performed with local schoolchildren one evening during the festival.
It was at the folk festival where folk-Americana singer-songwriter Alicia Stockman volunteered and became connected with the Moab music scene. In addition to seeing Les Poules À Colin perform in the ballpark, Stockman joined late night jam sessions with festival musicians. Stockman will open for the group on Friday.
“I had seen (Les Poules À Colin) perform before at the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival in Lyons, Colorado,” Stockman said. “They’re a fun band to watch. They’re very talented.”
Although she was once a member of a cover band, these days Stockman performs mostly original music. She recently released a new six-song EP which she will have for sale at the show in Moab. Based in Heber City, Stockman performs around Park City and Salt Lake City. She recently played in Vernal for a river festival celebrating John Wesley Powell’s legendary river trip down the Colorado and Green rivers.
Stockman won the Suzanne Millsaps Performing Singer-Songwriter Showcase award at the Utah Arts Festival in 2017, and she took second place at the 2019 Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival Performing Songwriter Contest.
Food vendors will be present during the free concert, as well as beer and wine vendors — proceeds of which benefit the free concert series. If you can’t make it out, KZMU Community Radio will live stream the headlining acts each week at the free concert series.