Beaucoup Chapeaux

Beaucoup Chapeaux

 Nevada City, California, USA

Beaucoup Chapeaux plays ancient, contemporary, and original music, "...something lovers can whisper behind, and get up and dance to", performances that are called magical, beautiful, inspiring, world class, a voice to knock your socks off, the real thing, true joie de vivre, with the ability to carry audiences away to the best corners of Greece, Croatia, Albania, Romania, Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and showing time and again how we are all indeed one.


Descriptions of Beaucoup Chapeaux's shows and music almost always include the word "magic."  You might hear such music in Parisian bistros, Italian cirques, Greek tavernas, Hogmanay bonfires, music ancient and contemporary, jazz and folk influenced, resulting in fresh and exciting re-imaginings and visionary new creations to dazzle all your senses.

"It has a permanent home in my car cd player!!  We love your new CD!"--Sean Bianco, host of CPR's "Night at the Opera".

For 8 years, and 600+ performances, Beaucoup Chapeaux's live concerts are about joy and community:  ". . .Beaucoup Chapeaux, a world and fusion quartet. . . was at the Red Poppy (Art House). . .On a ledge tucked into the storefront, we nestled among pillows, enveloped by compelling yet comforting strains of accordion, fiddle, guitar, clarinet. So many fans showed up that the Poppy’s small wine bar ran out of glasses, but the crowd felt like family, with cousins crowded around the table, and you almost felt like volunteering to do the washing up."--Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 19, 2016 

Beaucoup Chapeaux's founder and leader is Maggie McKaig.  A guitarist as well as an accordionist and composer, Maggie, known for her rich full bodied vocals, sings in a dozen languages.  She's recorded seven albums, and composed the folk opera "Cumberland Suite", collaborated with bassists Michael Zisman, Bill Douglass, saxophonist George Brooks, songwriters Sands Hall, Paul Kamm, Eleanore MacDonald, and Utah Phillips, and toured as lead guitarist for twice Grammy award winner Mary Youngblood. Past bands include Lost in the Colonies, Celtic Wonderband, and Storm Session. For 13 years she was musical and artistic director and composer for Emily Klion's youth theatre arts productions at the San Francisco Day School and the Marsh Theatre.  Her composition, "Flora's Waltz", was in the top five of Just Plain Folks Awards Best Celtic Instrumental (2009, Nashville TN), and another composition, "War Is A Business", was featured on Amy Goodman's show "Democracy Now" in 2010. 

Born in Oshawa Ontario, Luke P. Wilson plays plectrum banjo, tenor guitar,  5-string banjo, steel guitar, and dobro. Luke, whom Utah Phillips referred to as one of the best singers and instrumentalists he knew, has performed and recorded throughout Europe and North America, was a Capitol Records recording artist (with Ron Paul Morin), and has worked with Canadians musicians including Valdy, Ian Tyson, Diamond Joe White, Ron Paul Morin, Ken Hamm, members of Prairie Oyster, Ron Casat, Miles Jackson, Peter Marley, and the Backline Orchestra.  In California, Luke has worked with jazz bassists Michael Zisman and Bill Douglass, Scottish violinist Alasdair Fraser, singer/songwriters Saul Rayo, Nory Fussell, Kimberly Bass, Charlie Brock, Sands Hall, and Utah Phillips.  He is also a luthier, working at Wolfnote Studio near Nevada City, CA.

From Carlops, Scotland, Murray Campbell performs on violin, oboe, cor anglais, and vocals. Campbell also plays his reeds for a number of symphony orchestras: North State,  Auburn, and InConcert Sierra. Murray, a rare being who is equally at home on the orchestral stage as he is improvising on reeds and strings, has worked with the Belfry Brothers, ChickenBonz, Paul Kamm and Eleanor MacDonald, Alasdair Fraser, Kipchoge Spencer,  Bristle, and Lisa Mezzacappo's String Band. 

From Iowa, on clarinet, bass clarinet, piccolo, and vocals, Randy McKean also plays saxophonist and composer.  Randy's music draws upon methods of distillation and synthesis pioneered by composers such as Anthony Braxton and Iannis Xenakis. Other projects include leading the avant-garde quartet "Bristle" (with Campbell, bassist Lisa Mezzacappa, and reed player Cory Wright), and collaborations include the Gargantius Effect and Sawbones. Randy's recordings include the CDs Wild Horsey Ride, Bristle’s Bulletproof (Edgetone), and Futures Nows, So Dig This Big Crux (Rastascan), the Great Circle Saxophone Quartet’s Child King Dictator Fool (New World), and the electronic release Gargantius Effect +1+2+3 (w/Han-earl Park, Gino Robair & Scott Looney).

Past BC performances include:  Ridgestock Music and Sustainability Festival; Salem World Beat Festival; Red Poppy Art House; Music in the Mountains; Wild and Scenic Film Festival; Stars at the North Star House; the Emerald Tablet; Valhalla Art and Music Festival; the White Rabbit; Point Reyes Station House Café; Plough and Stars.



Written By: Maggie McKaig


Verse 1:
Everything I want, everything I need,
Everything I see, everything I dream,
The best of these has been you,
Every time I’ve danced, every time I’ve laughed,
Every song I’ve sung, every single one,
I’ve been harmonizing with you,

Bridge 1:
All the winds can blow, all the waves can crash,
It’s no matter if I’m with you,
The very world could split in half,
I’d laugh as long as I am with you,

Verse 3:
All the coldest nights, all the dead-end streets,
All the fears that rise and daily we meet,
Are easier ‘cause of you,
All the sunset skies, all the swaying trees,
Every piece of fruit is sweeter to me,
Like peaches and cream ‘cause of you,

Bridge 2:
Every day we have together shines,
And sparkles like some kind of jewel,
Every day we have together finds,
I’m deeper in love with you.

Repeat Bridge 1, then Verse 1

War Is A Business

Written By: Maggie McKaig

War is a business, you know that it’s true,
And after a war there is so much to do,
Infrastructures to be rebuilt,
That opens the door to the folks who without any
Guilt brought us war on a silver plate,
Dangling security as the bait,
Causing our deepest fears to rise,
We’re so paranoid we’re not even surprised.

To hear the Vice President while CEO,
Made sure Halliburton was ready to go,
The moment the first declaration was made,
Cheney made sure Halliburton got paid,
The toll of the wounded and dead rise each day,
We’re told not to question, that’s just not the way,
The big picture is something we can’t understand,
Only a genius like George Bush can,

War is a business, you know that it’s true,
And in any business you often get screwed,
But losing your freedom is really a bitch,
While watching the friends of Dick Cheney get rich.

When did we let the government start,
To deliver the country to hell in a cart,
Well, we sat on our asses and watched the High Court,
Steal the election, then tell us "Don’t worry,
We’ll sort out the votes, then make Our choice,
Make you believe you’ve still got a voice..."
That’s when we should have been out on the streets,
Marching by millions and millions and billions and
War is a Business....

Millions and billions and millions and billions...........

A Few Important Things

Written By: Maggie McKaig

From Edge of the World, 2008

Verse 1:
I am alone now,
I have no mother,
I have no father,
They�ve passed on,
I find myself now,
To be an elder,
But I still remember being young,
Believing I could fly,
Not knowing I could ever die,
Thinking I had important things to say,

Shining like gold coins,
In the depths of the sea,
Like a pearl in an oyster,
Like a magic key,
To the treasures of our sweetest dreams,
Waiting to be found,
Try to remember every night when we lay down,

Verse 2
Sometimes I want the whole truth,
Give it to me straight
I�ve got to feel the passion,
Don�t make me wait,
And some days it�s too much,
Getting out of bed,
Can�t stop trouble,
Talking in my head,

Do we ever really get it?
Ever understand?
Ever know the meaning,
Unravel all these plans?
From what I�ve got figured,
The only thing to do,
Is hope you find kindness and love around you...


I am alone now,
I have no mother,
I have no father,
They�ve passed on,
I find myself now,
To be an elder,
And even though I still remember being young,
I know now I can�t fly,
And someday I�ll surely die,
But I�ve still a few important things to say,

Repeat Chorus


Written By: Maggie McKaig

From "Edge of the World", 2008

She is a Chimera, a fantastic beast of dreams,
Foolish, or fabulous, with no place in reality,
She lives among the clouds where the air is rare and thin,
A lion�s head, sharp goat hooves, and the tail of a serpent,

When she gets riled she tends to breathe fire,
And burns everything that she sees,
That�s why she lives amongst eagles and marmots,
Such creatures that just let her be.

They all danced circles, around, dance around,
The serpent chasing its tail,
Aleman with the left, promenade to the right,
Bow down, balance me, bow down.

Long ago, before the sun had retreated to it�s cave,
And before the moon had lost any chance of being saved,
She lived in the world, just like anyone you see,
And no one saw her lion�s head, her tail or cloven feet,

As they whispered prayers to dry bread and wine,
And madonna�s in lovely white veils,
With a passion more frightening than anything else,
They were lost on the labyrinth�s trail

They all danced in circles, around, dance around,
The serpent chasing its tail,
Aleman with the left, aleman with the right,
Bow down, balance me, bow down.

But in, a trying time, people did desperate things,
Blind with fear, they could not hear,
The message peace would bring,
And so the shields, of prejudice, were raised by many hands,
Only war, and nothing more, burned across the land.

The Chimaera was frantic to turn back the tide,
But alas, there was little to do,
So in bitter defeat she made her retreat,
Off to the mountain she flew,

They all danced in circles, around, dance around,
Like a serpent chasing its tail,
Aleman with the left, aleman with the right,
Bow down, balance me, bow down.

Come Now Children

Written By: Maggie McKaig

How did this happen to you?
It’s true, you’ve gone insane
And yes, millions to blame
But if we play that game it’s such a shame,

Melting ice caps, rising oceans,
Do you all know how to swim?
Don’t delay another moment
Or you’ll take it on the chin

Come, now, children,
You know what you must do
Clean up your mess
Do the best that you can possibly do.

You’ll push me ‘round the bend
Straight to the end, ‘til I’ve nothing left but to
Send you all to your graves
When you’ve still time to save your sorry asses

It’s not really hard to fathom
Just how much this means to you
You yourselves are now the hazard,
Look how much you have to lose


Tsk tsk, impossible task?
Why would I ask? If it were so
I give credit where due—now it’s up to you
It’s time to be true

Don’t try to fix someone else
Your concern should be yourself
You’ll be done before you know it
Then there’s treats, just don’t blow it


Mere Mortals

Written By: Maggie McKaig

When you’re a mere mortal you often complain,
Just how fast time can go by,
But can you imagine how it must be,
When you’re a lowly Mayfly,
You’re born in the morning, by noon you’re a teen, at
Five you’re an adult--you see what we mean--
You spend the night mating, then laying eggs,
Only to discover by morning you’re dead…

Twenty-four hours, Twenty-four hours,

Meeting and mating, meeting and mating,
Meeting and mating and then laying eggs,
Meeting and mating, meeting and mating,
Meeting and mating and then you are dead.

We are mere mortals, and we won’t live forever, we are
Mere mortals, prawns in a bigger game, we are
Mere mortals, trying to make our way,
Knowing that today could be our
Last day,

You might wake up one morning, to find
Everything has changed,
What you thought was set in stone has
All been rearranged, so you
Pray to Jesus, maybe Krishna,
Buddha is good too, and
Hope that somehow in the end it
All makes sense to you

We are mere mortals, and we won’t live forever,
We are mere mortals, prawns in a bigger game,
We are mere mortals, trying to make our way,
Knowing that today could be our
Last day!

Waxing and Waning

Written By: Maggie McKiag

From "Lost in the Colonies", 1984

Watching the snow blowing by,

Makes my dreams carry me far to the south,

Where a lover once waited for me,

But he wrote, said I’m sorry but you surely must see,


That I’m tired of waiting,

and watching each rising moon,

Waxing, and waning, and feeling a fool.

I remember that spring had gone by,
So I followed the swans and the geese flying north, and I
Thought I’d return in the fall,
But when the leaves started turning I knew I’d remain,

Now you’re tired of waiting....


Its nothing you said or did,

I just needed more room to live

So I stayed up in Canada,
Though my heart was left somewhere between the two,
And whenever I see the moon full,
It reminds me of arms that will hold me no more, you were tired.....of waiting

Castles of Sand

Written By: Maggie McKaig

Verse 1:
No other place was mine it was the closest to,
Wherever my deepest self was found,
I could be running blind, from the craziest escapade,
And always there was a sense of solid ground,

But that was the strangest thing, there was no solid ground,
For my place was built entirely of sand,
On an earthquake fault, sand as white as salt,
Sitting on the edge of the bay,

You know it’s not just black or white,
Or day and night, or dark and light,
Or what you give, or what you take,
Or how you move, or what you make,

Verse 2:
They built her house, of redwood trees,
Ancient ones, 500 years or more,
And anchored it with ocean stones,
That held it through a thousand storms,

The winds had tried their very best
To blow the thing right out into the waves,
Yet wood and stone had stood their ground,
And time and time again she was saved,


Dreams are shaped by shifting tides,
Hissing waves, the seagull’s cry,
Haunting mists, the lion’s call,
The brilliant sunrise through the fog

And what comes must surely pass,
We like to think we’re constant as the moon,
And yet by nature ever changing,
And lonely as the calling of the loon,


Neptune's Garden

Written By: Maggie McKaig

Verse 1:
I tried so hard to find you,
In the grove of olive trees,
Through the turrets of the castle
But you hid yourself away

It’s a simple thing to think of,
And the hardest thing to do,
When you’re heart’s completely flustered,
And you know you cannot choose,

And your beard is growing lichen,
And you give a stony stare
But your eyes never leave me,
They follow everywhere

Bridge 1:
And I think, if I’m crafty,
I’ll turn, and see you move,
And though I try, I cannot,
Therefore, I guess I lose

Verse 2:
So I’ll leave you to your cool,
Green mossy pedestal,
Where heart sick girls toss coins,
While they sit and tell,

You all about their sorrows,
Brave knights that never came,
Abandoned by true love,
And forever curse it’s name,

Bridge 2:
And I have just enough wisdom,
To know I cannot stay,
And you, fain follow,
Where time can wear away,

Verse 3:
The minutes and the hours
Like you have never seen,
A far different world,
Where you have never been,


Verse 4:
Words carry on the water,
And picked up by the wind
For thousands of years,
On and on they spin

So sleep now my sweet love,
Let the waters sing your song,
Long after my passing,
Long after I’m gone

Set List

Trist Annada Medly Gm
Belasicko C
Tangos Am
Pigalle C
I Love Paris Gm/G
Caf De La Morte Dm
Valley of the Moon G
Politico Hasapiko A
Dracevka Oro D.
Dark Eyes Dm
Elastic Dm
Scythian Steppe Am
Le Denicheur D
Come Now Children Am
Gipsy Song Gm
Frankosyriani Dm
Vai Devrai Am
Domino Cm
Varanski Cocek D7
Ta Ptite Flamme Am
O Mythos G
Tutto Dm
La Vie En Rose F
Kolos Darino and Galona C/Cm/D
Karapyat Dm
La Franska Gm
Under Paris Skies Dm
Salvador Dali and Me Cm
Lepa Jela Dm
Il Gato D
Acana Mlada Nveste Gm
Trugnala Rumjana D
Wallachian Suite Dm
LHistoria De Un Amor Am
Xotis Romanes Am
Chitarra Romana Dm
Stand By Me A
U Krushevo Ogin Gori G
Bufcansko Dm
Cetvorka Am

Theme D'Classique
Ciganski Preplet
Plovi Barka