"She grabs you by the soul and won't let go." fan
"Wow!" Not likely to forget about this one. She DOES stand out. Big time! I'm impressed as hell and will be watching this Toronto-based singer's career with interest from now on. Great Stuff."
(Barry Hammond, 'Penguin Eggs' review, Fall /09
* "I first booked Marianne at Northern Lights Festival Boreal because she stood out from the hundreds of talented
singer/songwriters on the circuit.
Marianne gave a wonderful performance to a full house on Saturday night. Her songs really struck an emotional chord with the audience, probing a diverse spectrum of the human condition and reflecting a maturity of life experience that gives them depth and authenticity. Marianne is the real deal. I hope a lot more people are given the opportunity to discover (or rediscover) her at the top of her game. Bravo!
Sudbury House Concert Series
* Pirate Days is a revelation ...alternately bold and tender, the tunes are clever and memorable, the production tasteful and the ensemble musicianship of the finest order. But on Pirate Days it's the vocal performances that stay with you. They're warm, inclusive, commanding. The confessional, occasionally ribald tone of the songs is served exquisitely by a voice that's unequivocally pure and joyfully unrestrained. -- Greg Quill, Toronto Star, Oct. /09
European radio calls her 'a Canadian nightingale' and says 'Marianne Girard will melt your heart and move your feet'. And, back home, 'Songs delivered with a lovely, compelling voice that is full of passion'. Les Siemieniuk, Penguin Eggs.
Born to a French /Irish family of 12, Marianne left the southwestern Ontario tobacco belt of her childhood for a life of journeying and songwriting: one she has steadfastly shared with her audience for over three decades.
* Canadian Folk Music Awards 2009 nominee: Best Contemporary Singer
* Top twenty most played in 2009 on Galaxie Folk Roots Radio
* Home Routes tours: Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan.
*Regular touring in Canada and U.S.
*Invitation to prestigious Ireland Literary Arts Festivals
*Conducts songwriting workshops in schools and art centres.
*Recorded three albums, "When It Hurts", "In This Town" '02, "Pirate Days"'09
*Mounted a one-woman show 'The Mad Woman of Basin Street' hailed a 'tour de force' by Toronto Life Magazine
*Recorded an hour long live show broadcast world-wide on Chicago's CFMT Folk Stage and XM radio The Village.
* Background/voice-over on multiple recordings, radio and t.v. ads.
*Brought the healing power of music and the arts to rural schools, clinics and native reserves.
Favourite Workshops - Songwriting Improv (Audience Participation), Torch 'n Twang, Road Songs, "East Meets West", "Oceans Apart," (these two deal with music and culture diversities and similarities) Show Tunes - Roots Style, Flipside of Folk Hits, Unsung Heroes, The Worst Gig Stories, A Woman on the Road, Women In The Round, On Love and War..... more to come.
* Home County
* Blues Skies
* Festival of Friends
* Eaglewood Songwriters
* Toronto Women's Festival
* Winterfolk - Toronto
* City Roots Festival - T.O.
* Northern Lights Festival Boreal - ON
* 'Stanfest' StanRogersFolk Festival, Canso, N.S.
* Canterbury Folk
* Clifden Arts Festival, Galway, Ireland
* Westport Arts Festival, Westport, Ireland
The new CD, Pirate Days, her third album, is classic Girard unvelings of life's poignant mysteries. There is a restless urgency and the scent of apple trees and tobacco fields in Marianne's songs.
"Pirate Days" captures the completeness of Marianne's voice, the sensuality of her writing, and is a perfect blend of introspection and wide audience appeal.
"The best of me is yet to come around" she writes in Train of Love, with a chorus of adult and children's voices behind her.
vocal, guitar, mandola
accompanist - guitar, vocal
IN THIS TOWN
NORTH TO ONTARIO-Bluegrass Compilation, '09
all tracks streamed through CD Baby download
HOUSE CONCERT REVIEW
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A group of 50 or so people is gathered in the living room of a home south of Calgary. Friends, neigh...A group of 50 or so people is gathered in the living room of a home south of Calgary. Friends, neighbours, new acquaintances, they nibble on the selection of food and talk amongst themselves. New arrivals are greeted at the door and welcomed into the excited atmosphere. Yes, indeed, there is an undertone of anticipation. Everyone knows they are about to be treated to a special night.
At the appointed time, all assembled are ushered into the basement. A few make a last minute circle of the dining table while others top off their glass or fill their coffee cup. Never the less, in mere minutes, everyone has gathered in the basement sitting, waiting eagerly.
A light comes up and the hostess appears and says "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Marianne Girard".
Marianne takes the stage comfortably. It is an intimate setting and Marianne immediately begins to establish a rapport with her audience. "Can you believe this place?", she says, only half asking for she is sure they must have heard that before. "It is so great." Marianne eases into her first, appropriately chosen song. When she is finished, the audience response tells her that she has a knowing and appreciative crowd who are already warming to her performance. Marianne introduces each song with a fitting story. Sometimes short, sometimes personal as when she tells us the inspiration for Amanda On The Train. Those who have listened to Marianne's multi-tracked studio recordings briefly wonder if she can represent the songs as well here in this setting but Marianne's mastery of the guitar and her incredible voice very quickly put any concern to rest. The songs and the stories flow. Pirate Days makes us believe in Marianne's indomitable spirit, The Levee reveals to us her thoughts on the tragedy of hurricane Katrina. If I Had Wings, Constantinople, The Cuckoo, the variety is delicious and each offering receives our profound appreciation. It is obvious that the audience is hooked. She shyly announces she'll be flying to Ottawa overnight for her nomination at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. The audience is thrilled and genuinely excited for this woman who has already won their votes and their hearts.
There's an intermission, more food and then more fine music. My Mother's Blanket touches many, each in different ways while Train Of Love offers hope to those who need it. By now, we are all one with the music, the stories and the stories within the music. For a brief moment, before the applause, you could hear a pin drop when Marianne finishes Angel In The Snow as we absorb the meaning of that to which we have just listened. All too soon the concert is over. The audience retreats to the upstairs, some to seek more food or a cup of coffee and some to find their way to the door. Marianne is gracious. She joins the crowd, answers questions and bids a fond farewell to people as they leave. One thing is certain. Everyone has just witnessed a very special concert, in a little theatre in a basement. No one will soon forget.
- Bill Towsley, Home Routes concert presenter, Calgary, AB.
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MARIANNE GIRARD, Pirate Days, (Marianne Girard 02). This second CD by the veteran Canadian singer-...MARIANNE GIRARD, Pirate Days,
(Marianne Girard 02). This second CD
by the veteran Canadian singer-songwriter
is filled with compelling, insightful songs.
Girard is at her best stepping outside herself
to sing from the perspective of older
people – like someone who worked on the
levee in 1933 only to see it fail in 2005, or
a hermit who lived an isolated life after
avoiding serving in World War II. She also
writes poignantly about the passing of her
mother and with compassion about a
woman who is self-destructing via drugs.
A fine singer, Marianne’s songs are well
served by her acoustic-oriented arrangements
and the clean production of Douglas
Romanow. — MR (Mike Regenstreif)
CANADA'S FOLK,ROOTS & WORLD MAGAZINE
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"Sure wouldn't want to be a singer/songwriter these days. The competition is staggeringly fierce. ...
"Sure wouldn't want to be a singer/songwriter these days. The competition is staggeringly fierce.
Can't imagine being as talented as Marianne Girard, who has it all: exceptionally interesting voice,
great songwriting talent and who has recorded a disc as impressive as this, with backup from a hot
guitar player like Rick Fines among others, and have to try to get the attention of frankly jaded critics
like me, who hadn't heard of her before.
It's tough to stand out among the dozens of other well-made discs we get every quarter.
Well, I've heard of her now and all I can say is, "Wow!" Not likely to forget about this one. She DOES
stand out. Big time! I'm impressed as hell and will be watching this Toronto-based singer's career with
interest from now on. Great Stuff."
by Barry Hammond
Greg Quill, Toronto Star Reviewer
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Toronto Star Reviewer Greg Quill writes: Pirate Days is a revelation. Marianne Girard, those fami...Toronto Star Reviewer Greg Quill writes:
Pirate Days is a revelation. Marianne Girard, those familiar with Canadian song craft know, is a proven a songwriter capable of great sensitivity, insight and truthfulness. But this time out, she's taking no prisoners. The vivid song stories on this album are alternatively bold and tender, the tunes clever and memorable, the production tasteful and the ensemble musicianship of the finest order. But on Pirate Days it's the vocal performances that stay with you. They're warm, inclusive, commanding. The confessional, occasionally ribald tone of the songs is served exquisitely by a voice that's unequivocally pure and joyfully unrestrained. -- Greg Quill
TORONTO STAR CD REVIEWS
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Ontario songwriter Girard's latest is a set of elegantly simple, folk-tinged ballads, very personal ...Ontario songwriter Girard's latest is a set of elegantly simple, folk-tinged ballads, very personal tales of love and panoramic ruminations that are well served by a light and airy, almost casual treatment featuring some wonderfully organized acoustic guitar an mandolin work from Steve Briggs,(The Brothers Cosmoline, Bebop Cowboys). Standout cuts are the opener, Maverick Boy, the title track and the eerily anachronistic blues-raga throwback Know You Rider. The set includes a couple of self-indulgent clunkers (the lyrics of War Song are high-school diary level doodles), but the overall effect is pleasant enough.
The Toronto Star
October 22, 2002
ALL MUSIC GUIDE
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This talented folk-oriented singer-songwriter begins her appealing album with Maverick Boy, a fine m...This talented folk-oriented singer-songwriter begins her appealing album with Maverick Boy, a fine mid-tempo song that resembles an Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt duet. The wide use of instruments including banjo and mandolin gives it a definite roots rock slant. The length of some of the songs might appear arduous, but the flow Marianne Girard brings to each tune never fails her. In This Town has more of a country feeling to it, drawing comparisons to Blue Rodeo's album Five Days In July: a strong narrative mainly consisting of vocal and acoustic guitar. Girard takes the tone of the album slightly with Where You Go, a melodic number that would bring to mind Lynn Miles. Her vocals are strong without being overpowering; another asset to the record. Know You Rider is a mix of blues, folk and country, and is very easy on one's ears. Slowly building, the song would fit well with Bonnie Raitt. War Song possesses a certain amount of tension from its outset: while Girard is singing, a marching drum, a djembe, and a pennywhistle are heard in the distance. But the song never really finds its footing. Fare Thee Well is a traditional Celtic-tinged ballad the musician seems quite adept at doing. Although it has a swaying quality to it, Girard gives one of her better performances on this track. Constantinople is a lush and gorgeous effort that brings to mind an upbeat Cowboy Junkies. The concluding Sun Through The Bamboo is a piano-driven melancholic tune that might be a bit too long. But on the whole, the album is a testament to her solid songwriting and consistently stellar performance.
All Music Guide
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Marianne Girard is a musical therapist by trade and a songwriter by inclination. Starting her career...Marianne Girard is a musical therapist by trade and a songwriter by inclination. Starting her career in Nashville and New York in the late 70's she has worked from Keswick Ontario for the past ten years. This is her first album. What took her so long? It's a wonderful effort.
The gentle folk rock sound of In this Town is guided by producer Jon Switzer and produced by some of Ontario's best studio people like Kirk Elliot, Geoge Koller, Anne Bourne, Denis Keldie and Steve Briggs. It suits the gentle, simple songs that Girard has written. Each is delivered with a lovely, compelling voice that is full of passion.
Girard can paint pictures of love with a Maverick Boy, the Sun Through the Bamboo and an eerily clear portrait of her town: "Stakin' out the bus top it's a Saturday nite / There's a bench to sit on and one street light / The heat and the boredom drive the kids out here / The bus has stopped runnin', that's not why they're there."
In this Town is an auspicious debut with just one flaw. If I had Wings for some strange reason includes a creepy male voice speaking the lines in French behind an otherwise beautiful song sung by Girard.
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Very nice folk-pop songs from this Canadian nightingale. It's been a while since I discovered a cd ... Very nice folk-pop songs from this Canadian nightingale. It's been a while since I discovered a cd where every song is so well constructed(musical and literary) as this one. It hasn't left my cdplayer for weeks. Marianne is backed by a full band. In the first song Maverick Boy you can hear some great mandolin from Steve Briggs, who also plays acoustic and electric guitar. Marianne plays some unusual instruments like the octophone creating a special effect in songs like Know you rider, War song and Fare thee well. A special song is If I had wings where you can hear the French translation of the song in the background from François Klanfer. Other musicians are Kirk Elliot on accordion, Dennis Keldie on mellotron and Hammond organ and John Switzer on mandola, dulcimer, djembe and snare. Very recommended to all fans of the better singer-songwriter stuff.
-Roots Revival ATL Radio
"Unique and intellegent! Compassion and pluck!"
CD BABY REVIEWERS
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* A lovely and solid album author: Eli Marcus I think that one measure of... *
A lovely and solid album
author: Eli Marcus
I think that one measure of a good album is if you go around for days after listening to it with a couple of the songs constantly playing in your head. Marianne Girard's album "In This Town" is such an album. The clean and delicate production on this album lends a timeless quality to the fine lyrics and melodies. Songs like "If I Had Wings" and "In This Town" really stuck in my mind for the past week since the CD arrived. Her unusual arrangement of the traditional "Know You Rider" is also quite haunting due to the drone style guitar accompaniment. If you like the song samples, the rest of the album will not disappoint you at all, you have my solemn word...
Excellent! Enjoyed every track.
author: Paul Goldberg
This is an excellent cd. There is not a bad or even mediocre track. Marianne has a beautiful voice and is backed by a fine group of musicians. I hope that another album is not too far off in the future.
Marianne's work is wonderful folk music
author: Warren Schmidt
I heard Marianne on XM's "The Village" one evening as I was returning from visiting friends. Her wonderful voice and lyrics instantly appealed to me. This CD, "In This Town" shows Marianne's great talent, and has given me many hours of listening pleasure.
Simlpy one of Canada's finest singer songwriters
author: Garry Jackson
Marianne Girard is simply one of Canada's finest singer songwriters. She will strike a certain chord with any listener with her honest passionate stories of life. Her music comes from that special place, and is voiced with a haunting beauty.
Those songs, that voice ... as good as it gets
author: Malcolm O'Brien
This is a 'desert island' album for me. In fact, I just leave it on repeat play at the office. In this role it has supplanted... Marianne's previous album.
It may be that there are other singers who can finesse a vocal as well as she, but I don't know who they are. :) And though the instrumentation is very, very good, it's that voice that rivets me. I swear my vital signs rise and fall in sync with her voice. Marianne Girard's voice is the magic carpet that transports me to a heavenly planet.
And if that wasn't enough, the songs are excellent. In fact, I think Sun Through The Bamboo is about as good as any track I've ever heard. If it was the only track on the CD, I'd still have it on repeat play. But wait! You get seven other Marianne songs, plus two covers. Yes, the Know You Rider is the same traditional song that was covered by the Grateful Dead; but Marianne has a dramatically different styling of it. Casablanca Bound is by veteran Toronto singer/songwriter, Norm Hacking, and very well rendered here.
In short, if you like this album half as much as I do, you'll really like it a lot. But don't take my word for it -- stream them! Listen. See if you don't agree.
Girard thrilled by Canadian Folk Music Awards Nod
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Marianne Girard’s ship may finally have come in. The Toronto singer-songwriter, who grew up in Delaw...Marianne Girard’s ship may finally have come in. The Toronto singer-songwriter, who grew up in Delaware, is a 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee who will be in Ottawa when the awards are handed out Saturday. Girard is riding acclaim for her new album Pirate Days.
She’s also able to look back with some fun and fondness to her first gig at UWO’s the Hub in November of 1972.
“I feel like I’m just coming into my own,” Girard says from her Toronto-area base. “For me, it’s a long slow train. That’s the platform of the album. Stories at this stage in life are just as exciting as the younger days or recalling the young days. That’s a huge demographic.”
Pirate Days is her third album. “Is there an expiry date?” she asks about art and life. The answer, of course, is no. One Pirate Days song Train of Love says flat-out: “The best of me is yet to come.”
Critics are raving about Girard’s album, the latest move in a career that brings her back to London for the Home County Folk Festival. A club show here is likely to happen soon. She still has many ties to London and memories of its 1970s’ folk boom.
“My roots music experience began in London with Willie P. Bennett when that was a huge music scene,” she says. “Willie P. was a huge mentor for me. He didn’t even know it. A lot of the way I finger-pick is very much his style.”
Born in London, she grew up in Delaware, “right in the tobacco belt,” attending secondary schools, including Laurier, in London. She moved to Toronto in the late 1970s. She later moved to the Keswick area with her children. Girard also spent about a year in the Nashville area to work on her songcraft. She returned to Toronto in 2002.
Her important music firsts bought at London outlets number Girard’s first 45 (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and her first LP, Joni Mitchell’s debut.
“I bought my first guitar, which I still have, a ‘63 rosewood Guild D-50 at — was it called Chapman & Hewett — (the old Wellington St.) music store.
Then there was that first gig to treasure forever.
“My first gig ever was the Hub coffee house at Western, in November 1972. A boy who’d obviously partied elsewhere before he got there was ralphing into a plastic beer cup . . . it was a memorable night all round,” she says of that beginning.
Among those stalwarts of the era she recalls fondly are radio DJs Tom Lodge and Thomas (Plewman) Aquinas. Others on the folk scene Girard knew included Bennett, Laura Smith, Doug McArthur, Ken Palmer, Nancy Simmonds, Stan Rogers, Colleen Peterson and David Bradstreet.
Girard was just finishing high school when she was looking for her place in the firmament.
“I was like the straggling little kid. Everyone ignored me and told me to go away,” she says.
Soon enough, there were good times jamming at the old York Hotel and later at clubs on Talbot St.
Others with London-region ties include 2000 UWO English grad Tony Dekker, whose Toronto band Great Lake Swimmers is nominated in the contemporary album category for Lost Channels. A strong presence on the record is London producer and engineer Andy Magoffin. Former Sarnian Maria Dunn is nominated as a soloist artist. Now Alberta-based, Dunn’s album is The Peddler. Kerri Ough, a 2003 UWO Don Wright faculty of music grad, and her bandmates in Toronto’s the Good Lovelies are nominated in the new/emerging artist category. The Good Lovelies play a Christmas CD release show at Aeolian Hall on Dec. 17.
By coincidence, Toronto’s Melissa McClelland, a contender along with Girard in the contemporary singer category, plays the historic 795 Dundas St. hall tomorrow at 8 p.m. McClelland shares the bill with Justin Rutledge. Halifax’s Joel Plaskett leads the way to the awards with four nomnations.
The CFMAs are judged by independent juries of industry experts who remain at arms- length from the organizers. There is a different panel for each category. Results are tabulated by an independent chartered accountant.
“It’s a juried decision. Everybody knows that. Being nominated is just as good,” Girard says.
“When you do get a nod, any kind of a nod, that really is when you feel acknowledged and you do feel part of the family.
Girard is juggling Saturday’s awards gala with gigs in Alberta. “I’m going for one night and then I’m going back (to Alberta) the next day. So I don’t think I’m going to get any sleep,” she says.
CANADIAN FOLK MUSIC AWARDS
WHAT: Founded in 2005, the Canadian Folk Music Awards recognize Canada’s outstanding writers, producers and performers of folk music. While the Junos pay homage to Canada’s pop music success stories, the CFMAs celebrate the magnificent diversity of Canada’s musical heritage
WHEN: Events start today, gala is Saturday, 8 p.m.
WHERE: Ottawa-area venues. Gala is Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 355 Cooper St., Ottawa
Details: $45, includes a post-show reception at the venue. Visit folkawards.ca or call 1-800-385-FOLK or 613-730-2887.
London-region connections: 2009 nominees with London-region ties include Marianne Girard, formerly of Delaware, former Sarnian Maria Dunn and former UWO students Kerri Ough of the Good Lovelies and Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers.
James Reaney is a Free Press columnist and reporter covering arts & entertainment.
2 - 50-60 minute sets, approx. 8 - 9 songs per set.
Artist Song List
Amanda on the Train
In This Town
My Name is Carol
Si J'avais Des Ailes
Fare The Well
You Make Me Lovely
Dress Of Midnight Blue
Where You Go
Angel In The Snow
Close To The Bone
Roses In My Garden
Train of Love
The Seventh Veil
Don't Call me B----
Covers - The Cuckoo
Angel from Montgomery
Know You Rider
Tar and Cement
What a Wonderful World
There are no upcoming dates at this time.