Collette Savard
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Collette Savard

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Pop Folk

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"Old School Recording: Collette Savard - Best Dress"

Anything but over-produced and artificial sounding, Savard's newest release, 'Best Dress', shines with Collette Savard's sultry vocals, clever arrangements, and traditional-style recording sans effects, like the added reverb to enhance the vocals that is so prevalent in modern non-classical recordings... - itsnotopera.com


"Collette Savard debuts her Best Dress"

When I first spun Collette Savard’s third CD,Best Dress, I got a warm, familiar, earlyCowboy Junkies rush.
Sure enough, the foundation of the new record was captured live-off-the-floor at St. Matthias church in west-end Toronto, a nod perhaps, to the Junkies’ famous The Trinity Session (in fact, Best Dress was mastered by Peter Moore, the sonic mastermind behind The Trinity Session).


Producer John Zytaruk plays a similar role for Collette Savard as Mike Timmins plays for Cowboy Junkies, filling the space with a rich foundation of highly skilled, largely acoustic instrumentation. Unlike the Junkies, however, the singer, Collette Savard, acts as the songwriter and mood-setter; she is a superb vocalist with terrific power and range, and one who appears to sing directly from her soul.


One of the many pleasing features on Best Dress is the variety of original songs on the record.
Zytaruk, Savard’s musical — and life — partner, said, “From the moment I met her, I knew she was that rarest of talents: a supremely gifted, natural songwriter. In the ten years I have known her, she still hasn’t started repeating herself.“


There is nevertheless a consistent, sweet, melancholic mood present in every note of Best Dress. For example, the piano parts on the record, played by the incomparable Bob Wiseman, were recorded in the front room of the Tranzac club in Toronto, and if you’ve never heard that beer-soaked upright, well, as Zytaruk puts it, “that funky old piano has such character”. Indeed this record is loaded with character.


Engineer Joe Mancuso expertly captured prolific rhythm-section veterans Brian Kobayakawa (bass) and Adam Warner (drums), Zytaruk’s dobro, baritone guitar (which he uses to marvelous effect), banjo, acoustic guitar, lap steel, and hammered dulcimer, as well as Savard’s guitar, dulcimer, ukulele and banjo. Other complementary instruments include violin (Saskia Tompkins) cello and accordion (Steve McNie).


Rarely are lead vocals recorded along with the other instruments, even in live-off-the-floor sessions, but Collette Savard bucked the trend.


John Zytaruk explains: “What we did is record in a manner that was very old-school, the way many of our favourite records from the 50's and 60's were done: you take some well-rehearsed musicians, get them to play all together at the same time in a really great sounding room, and record it really well using great microphones.”
And as with many of those old recordings, it worked. Best Dress is quite simply a great record. - Roots Music Canada - Andy Frank


"September 15th-October 14th issue by: Jeff Dame"

...Now the first song that I listened to was "Maybe Tonight". This song has a very country feel to it. I personally do not like country, but I do like this song. The music resembles country to me but Collette Savards vocals give it more of a pop feel. It is almost like an upbeat ballad. There is a rock influence in the song that you can hear, especially during the chorus. It is a very catchy song.

"A Wedding in Canaan" is a slow, bluesy song with a mix of jazz in it. It is a slower song that lets you focus more on the vocals as well as the lyrics. Collette Savard’s voice is very warm and soothing in this song, making you feel very comforted, even though it is a slow song.

The song "Full of It" is a great song with lyrics that should be listened to. There is truth behind the lyrics, Collette sings about how some people think that they are so much better than everyone else. This song has guitar work that reminds me of Carlos Santana and the project that he did with different singers, like Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty. It is one of those songs where you want to learn the lyrics because you feel the same way and want to sing it out loud.

Collette Savard is very talented and I think that once she finds a loyal fan base, she will go places.

www.northeastintune.com
- www.northeastintune.com


"September 15th-October 14th issue by: Jeff Dame"

...Now the first song that I listened to was "Maybe Tonight". This song has a very country feel to it. I personally do not like country, but I do like this song. The music resembles country to me but Collette Savards vocals give it more of a pop feel. It is almost like an upbeat ballad. There is a rock influence in the song that you can hear, especially during the chorus. It is a very catchy song.

"A Wedding in Canaan" is a slow, bluesy song with a mix of jazz in it. It is a slower song that lets you focus more on the vocals as well as the lyrics. Collette Savard’s voice is very warm and soothing in this song, making you feel very comforted, even though it is a slow song.

The song "Full of It" is a great song with lyrics that should be listened to. There is truth behind the lyrics, Collette sings about how some people think that they are so much better than everyone else. This song has guitar work that reminds me of Carlos Santana and the project that he did with different singers, like Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty. It is one of those songs where you want to learn the lyrics because you feel the same way and want to sing it out loud.

Collette Savard is very talented and I think that once she finds a loyal fan base, she will go places.

www.northeastintune.com
- www.northeastintune.com


"October 2006 issue"

If folk is your thing then this is a good solid CD to add to your collection.

Unsigned Music Magazine - Unsigned Music Magazine


"October 2006 issue"

If folk is your thing then this is a good solid CD to add to your collection.

Unsigned Music Magazine - Unsigned Music Magazine


"Catsask Music July 2007"

Collette Savard is blessed with a soothing make you feel at home vibe, and she uses it with great flourish. Demonstrating this talent with the intelligent, moving piece "Hey Baby", Collette embellishes the true emotions of the seduction in motion. Collette Savard is a unique and extremely talented songwriter, boasting musical medleys that are simultaneously upbeat and calming. Her simple approach to lyrics are on point and beat right to the soul. A truly gifted singer-songwriter Collette Savard is force in the Folk/Pop genre and you'd only be doing yourself a favor by giving this jewel your full attention.

catsask.com
- catsask.com


"Collette Savard: "Most Improved Cheerleader""

The debut release from Canadian songwriter Collette Savard is a poignant and reflective folk album with pop and jazz sensibilities. Entitled Most Improved Cheerleader, the release was recorded in Savard's Toronto apartment and includes contributions from a variety of Canadian musicians including Juno award winning flugelhorn player Guido Basso. Savard mixes sweet pop melodies with a touch of irony to produce a clever and intriguing collection of contemporary folk songs.

americanahomplace.com - americanahomplace.com


"Collette Savard: "Most Improved Cheerleader""

The debut release from Canadian songwriter Collette Savard is a poignant and reflective folk album with pop and jazz sensibilities. Entitled Most Improved Cheerleader, the release was recorded in Savard's Toronto apartment and includes contributions from a variety of Canadian musicians including Juno award winning flugelhorn player Guido Basso. Savard mixes sweet pop melodies with a touch of irony to produce a clever and intriguing collection of contemporary folk songs.

americanahomplace.com - americanahomplace.com


"The WholeNote"

The final disc I want to mention also has a French connection, but in this instance it is Collette Savard’s rural Franco-Ontarian heritage that comes into play. Now living in Toronto, she has incorporated more urban jazz and pop-oriented sensibilities into her writing and composition, crafting what she calls “a soulful new style of folk music.” What drew me to Collette’s new CD Zen Boyfriend (www.collettesavard.com ) is its instrumentation. I cannot think of another contemporary instance where the main accompaniment is provided by dulcimer or ukulele. Oh there is ample acoustic guitar, with occasional dobro, violin, viola, percussion, bass, and on one cut even the baritone sax of Richard Underhill, but the most intriguing tracks involve Savard’s sturdy vocals with very meagre instrumentation, mostly provided by producer John Zytaruk. All the songs are original compositions. Particularly effective are Quarter-Life Crisis (banjo, guitar and bass) and the closing track Over the Waves where Zytaruk’s lap steel (at times reminiscent of John Gzowski’s haunting work with Mary Margaret O’Hara) provides the only support for Savard’s vocal melody and sparse ukulele strumming.

The WholeNote (David Olds) - David Olds


"Zen Boyfriend"

COLLETTE SAVARD -- ZEN BOYFRIEND (COCOSONGS)

Collette Savard, who landed in Toronto via North Bay, brings a scent of the north woods with her on her sophomore album Zen Boyfriend.

She's a captivating songwriter who paints with a broad acoustic palette on guitar, dulcimer, banjo and ukulele. Spanning pop, blues, light jazz, country and various folk idioms, she receives sympathetic production from longtime musical collaborator and multi-instrumentalist John Zytaruk (Buck 65) who produced Savard's 2005 debut Most Improved Cheerleader.

There's a little bit of Sarah Harmer in Savard, but comparisons are superfluous. She and Zytaruk make their own, sweet music together.

Kitchener Record (Robert Reid) - Kitchener Record (Robert Reid)


"Shows that rocked Toronto last week"

...I caught some great moments, including Collette Savard’s timeless vocals and zither at the Songwriters Unite showcase.

Sarah Greene - Now Magazine

- Sarah Greene - Now Magazine


"A great CD!"

The lyrics on this CD are what first caught my attention - smart, funny, ironic and so on. But then overlay that with her sweet voice and the mellow music and.... well this is just very good music!
- fan from CDBABY: Steve B


"A great CD!"

The lyrics on this CD are what first caught my attention - smart, funny, ironic and so on. But then overlay that with her sweet voice and the mellow music and.... well this is just very good music!
- fan from CDBABY: Steve B


"unique and gifted"

A voice as sweet as honey, original and bright. Each song different from the other. " you don't have to be me" is great and had me toe tapping and singing along, best song I've heard for ages. A unique and gifted singer. - fan from CDBABY: Marion


"unique and gifted"

A voice as sweet as honey, original and bright. Each song different from the other. " you don't have to be me" is great and had me toe tapping and singing along, best song I've heard for ages. A unique and gifted singer. - fan from CDBABY: Marion


Discography

CD: "Most Improved Chearleader" released June 2005. Second CD "Zen Boyfriend" released May 2008. Collette's third CD "Best Dress" will be released April 21 2012.

Photos

Bio

Toronto’s Collette Savard is a natural-born singer, her smooth, slightly husky voice equally at home on Gillian Welch-esque ballads, Warren Zevon tunes and old blues covers by Howlin Wolf and Robert Johnson, as well as jazz standards such as Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose.”

Years ago, music drew Savard south from her home in North Bay, and since then she’s been incubating musically at songwriter spots like Tranzac Club, the Cameron House and Freetimes Café. “I’ve been in the oven long enough now,” she jokes, “I’m well-done.”

Savard is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, often switching over the course of a set between guitar, dulcimer, banjo and ukulele. But despite the uber-folkiness of her instrumentation, Savard describes her music as “jazzish pop”: “I play folk instruments, but actually I’m a pop artist with jazz and blues and country sensibilities,” she says.

 If you want to know what she means, have a listen to the catchy and jangly “Are You Coming Along” off her latest album, 2012’s Best Dress, which was recorded at St. Matthias Church in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods with guests Bob Wiseman (Blue Rodeo), Adam Warner (Jill Barber) and Brian Kobayakawa (Serina Ryder, Catherine MacLellan, Justin Rutledge). Savard’s song “Nicer Things,” a moving ode to dreaming of escaping city life, and also on that album, was nominated for Folk Music Ontario’s Colleen Peterson Award.

 This year marks a new beginning for Savard, who over the course of three albums collaborated in a duo with her husband and musical partner John Zytaruk (Buck 65, Jenn Grant). John’s influence as a skilled multi-instrumentalist as well as his scholarly knowledge of all things music has left an indelible mark on Collette’s musicality.  The two have recently parted ways, leaving Savard with room to re-discover herself musically, begin to form a new band and forge new collaborations, such as her recent work with pianist/producer Asher Ettinger. “This is about me taking back my music,” she says.

 Helping Savard on this mission is backup singer and multi-instrumentalist Rebecca Campbell (Porkbelly Futures, Jane Siberry). The two women’s vocal collaboration began in a serendipitous, magical way during an Australia Day celebration at Tranzac Club, where Savard helps foster an artistic community through her role as president of the board.

“I was singing “How Deep Is Your Love?,” says Savard, “and from behind the bar [where Campbell was serving up vegemite on toast] Campbell started harmonizing. She’s like my saviour in so many ways: gives me the validation when I need it and, when I don’t, tells me to plough through. When Rebecca is on stage everyone has a good time, me, the band and especially the audience.”

Although Savard’s Franco-Ontarian roots have so far resulted in only one original French song,"Cert-Volant", she sees it as an important facet of who she is as a songwriter. “The melodic sensibilities of those old folk songs are ingrained,” she says, explaining that she grew up with traditional songs that were originally brought over from France.

She’s also been heavily influenced by popular folksingers who make songs out of their lives: folks like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Lucinda Williams. Savard’s new songs are often topical and reflect where she’s at in her life: “Last Cigarette,” is about always repeating the same mistakes; “Check” addresses mental illness; “Up Late Talking” is a song about temptation; while “Right Here, Right Now” is about being in the moment. “Hardest Part” is sort of a breakup song, but it’s also about empowerment. “It’s about what I’m dealing with now,” Savard says. “I’m on my own now and I’m going to go out there and face my fears and follow my passions.”  

Band Members