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"Americana artist at 5th Avenue Coffee Friday"

By Calvin Daniels Staff Writer
Yorkton this Week - Wed July 29th 2009

Richard Groulx calls his music Americana, and Friday local music fans can get a feel for exactly what that means when the Regina-based performer plays at the 5th Avenue Cup and Saucer. “The style of music I play is most easily described as Americana,” he said. “It’s a broad term that means I borrow from any style that was born in the North American tradition (blues, rock, folk, country). I like something from all of these different styles, and you can hear on the album that one song will be specifically rock or specifically folk.”

The album Groulx refers to his his debut EP One Man Solidarity. “Since recording the album though the styles have definitely begun to fuse together a lot more,” he explained. “My rhythm guitar style borrows from country and rock, my lead guitar style has elements of blues, country and rock and my singing is probably a blend of folk and rock. Together you get a pretty gritty sound. It’s a lot more interesting than the straight ahead rock you’re used to on the radio. That stuff is bland. “Anyways, that’s where my style is heading. It’s always changing, but I like where it’s going.”

Groulx said the music for the CD sort of arose out of the process of wanting to do the disk itself. “With the exception of ‘Final Goodbye’ and ‘A Fool Whispers’, the album is a collection of songs that were written just as the idea to do the album was forming,” he said. “The chords for ‘Final Goodbye’ and the melody were something that I was working on as far back as 2002 when I lived in Edmonton. “‘A Fool Whispers’ is a song I began writing in 2006 when I returned to Saskatchewan from Nova Scotia.”

Groulx added he has always had an interest in music and writing songs. “I’ve been writing songs since I was a child so to fill an album with originals shouldn’t be a problem except that I’m a perfectionist,” he said. “So for me when it comes to committing a song to a record I have a much higher standard for a song when I decide to commit it to record. So it did take quite a while for me to tweak songs here and there before I was satisfied.

“If I remember correctly it was a 12 month period between deciding to work on an album and the actual release.”
As for the recording process, Groulx took a rather relaxed approach. “This album was recorded in basements and apartments. I’m an independent artist,” he said. “What can I say; I don’t have money to waste.

“My good friend Mitchell Marriott was the sound engineer for the album. Mitchell is my old friend from down the street. We’ve got a lot of history so it seemed to make sense that Mitch would be involved in the project. He’s studied sound engineering and has a high powered computer, so truth be told going to some big expensive studio to work with someone who doesn't know me at all would have been a stupid decision.”

In terms of finished product Groulx the perfectionist is happy. “This album sounds great, and even though it was a huge personal investment for me to produce this record, it cost far less than what it could have cost and the difference in quality is negligible,” he said. “However, the freedom I had on this record would not have been possible in a big studio with the clock ticking ...

“I do wish it was a longer album but it was getting to be a bit of a chore to set up for a recording session at one place, then tear it down and find another place to record the next week, or two weeks down the line. Plus, since this is the first record I really just wanted to get it done so I could get some feedback right away.

“I know I’ll be releasing more records so for me I really just wanted to get one out and make it available to people as soon as possible.

“Currently I have enough material for at least two more albums. Stylistically, ‘One Man Solidarity’ is a mish-mash. I admit that. It was intentional. I wanted to show that I was capable of doing it all and I wanted to see what got the most positive feedback.

“So for me ‘One Man Solidarity’ has been great because it has been a wonderful marketing tool and more importantly it’s been instrumental in guiding the direction of my next release.” - Yorkton this Week


"The 'Me' in 'Team'"

The title of the album is <i>One Man Solidarity</i>. It's a personal mantra for Richard Groulx on what it takes to live as a singer/songwriter. "There can be a lot of hard times as an artist," says Groulx, "so you've got to have that one-man solidarity to get you through them."

One Man Solidarity, which features seven tracks, was recorded mostly in basements with Groulx and his band The Co-Accused, spreading themselves across genres before falling somewhere between classic rock sounding ballads to gritty folk songs.

Even though Groulx and his band have enough songs to fill a couple albums, he was limited to seven tracks mostly because of budgeting - and the fact that, like most first albums, the singer/songwriter had to pay for it himself.

"Even though people don't really buy CDs anymore, you have to have one. There's this stigma that you aren't a real artist if you haven't released an album." /Andrew Markle - The Prairiedog: Nov 20 - Dec 3, 2008


"Groulx plays honest music"

'Groulx plays honest music'
By Kaeli Madill for the Leader-Post

It's pronounced "Grew." Richard Groulx's tongue-in-cheek humour is clearly evident from his MySpace page banner to his music. It's no surprise then that his honest take on life is found throughout his new album titled One Man Solidarity.

Groulx, along with his band the Co-Accused, will be playing The Exchange on Friday in honour of the release of the CD. The seven-track album features all lyrics and music written by Groulx.

While not claiming one certain genre as his own, Groulx admits to admiring talented song writers from John Lennon to Elliott Smith.

"For me there isn't one musical influence that I lean on too heavily," explained Groulx. "I'm not modelling myself after anyone in particular. I'm just trying to be true to myself."

That truth is unmistakable in songs such as "Final Goodbye." The Most personal of all the lyrics on this album, "Final Goodbye" speaks of a relationship that ends suddenly and leaves one person confused and hurt.

"The album covers a lot of emotional ground," says Groulx. "There are songs like 'The Real Me' or 'The Real You' that are clearly written out of anger and there are songs like 'Friendship Song' which is a plea for forgiveness and understanding or 'Petty Too' where I'm acknowledging that I'm not as good of a person sometimes as I should be. 'A Fool Whispers' is a fun and upbeat song about ignoring all the naysayers and getting on with life. 'One Man Solidarity' certainly has a dose of spite, but in the grand scheme the song is about self-determination."

Though born and raised in Regina, Groulx moved to Alberta and Nova Scotia to achieve his bachelor of music degree before eventually returning home in April 2006. He spent a significant portion of his first months back in Regina investigating the local music scene.

"I listened to what was out there and tried to play with as many musicians as I could. The plan was always to put a band together, but it took me a while to find the right people for the job."

Being without a band certainly did not discourage Groulx from writing and performing.

"I did a lot of solo shows before bringing Phil Legrande (bass) and Nat Bowen (drums) on board and forming The Co-Accused. I had played with both of them in a number of projects. Aside from the fact that the three of us all got along well, we really began to develop as a rhythm section as a result of playing together so much, so when some of the projects we were working on came to an end I asked Philip and Nathaniel to start a recording project with me (which resulted in the One Man Solidarity album) and the band grew from there."

Most fans familiar with Richard Groulx and the Co-Accused will pick up the CD to hear songs that they have watched live since the group formed in December of 2007. Audiences listening in for the first time will appreciate the variety of this album, which is sometimes serious and sometimes humorous in an introspective kind of way.

"This album has some rock, it has some folk and some pop elements too," notes Groulx.

Above all, this album is easy to identify with and a good album to sing along to. - The Leader Post - Nov 27th 08


"It's pronounced "grew""

It's pronounced "grew"
- Cassidy MacFadzean

Regina's Richard Groulx and the Co-Accused, which consists of Nathaniel Bowen on drums and Philip Legrand on bass, are releasing their debut CD, One Man Solidarity, on Nov. 28 at the Exchange. Groulx has played and studied music since the age of twelve, and is currently self-employed as a musician and music teacher.

The seven-song CD, which took about a year to produce, touches on a variety of topics including self-definition, exposing insincerity and relationships. "The title track 'One Man Solidarity' is a song about the hard work that's necessary just to have the life you want and deserve," Groulx said "It's about not letting anyone or anything stand in between your goals."

Lyrically, many of the album's songs reflect on following goals and not letting others discourage an individual from pursuing their dreams. Groulx, who has dedicated his life to following his passion for music, has firsthand experience with a society that does not entirely welcome artists with open arms. "I think people in general are supportive of music and the arts to the point that they enjoy it, but I think a lot of the time people's relationship to art or artists is too disconnected," he said.

"Enjoying music is a far cry from actually supporting it," Groulx elaborated. While he noted that he has encountered supportive individuals, he claims that the public's apathy is not simply a Regina problem but runs worldwide. "More needs to be done to get the word out that if you don't support something that you like, whether it's a restaurant, a sports franchise or a musician, then ultimately that entity is going to disappear," he said.

While Groulx's influences include Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Elliott Brood, One Man Solidarity is musically varied and embodies the best of rock, folk and blues genres. "On the one hand, anything that I hear is liable to inspire me. If I hear a great song, to me it doesn't really matter what genre it is, just that it's great," Groulx explained. He also claimed that he offers a wide variety of sounds to appeal to the different preferences his audience may have. "Usually after you play something that someone can relate to they are more willing to listen to everything you do and accept you as an artist," he said.

Groulx is currently off booking a summer tour, along with writing and recording demos throughout the winter and pursuing music full time. "In my opinion music is the most expressive, flexible and intricate art form there is," Groulx said, explaining his passion for the vocation. "When I hear a musician and I can feel what they're feeling just from listening to their voice, I'm overcome by a powerful and wonderful emotion. I don't know how to explain it other than that. I love that feeling and I want to pass it on with my music to every person who's willing to listen." - The Carillon - Nov 27th - Dec 3rd 2008


"In the Music Spotlight"

"Richard Groulx possesses a tenderness of heart, the unrelenting precision of a perfectionist, a passion for honest self-expression, and a desire to offer meaning to a world that oftentimes reacts too cold, too fast, and too disconnected. With his early desire in life to reach out to the world through his music, Richard maintained his focus on steady training, aiming towards very clear goals musically. He lets us know that not one of has need feel alone in the harshest moments and realizations of life. There will always be ugly things happening, but out of pain can be found the meaning, answers, hope and promise we are all seeking. A songwriter at the core, Richard Groulx plays and shares his music from the stage with warmth and intimacy. Honest and unabashed – Richard Groulx delivers a down-to-earth form of music that is an all-too-rare commodity in today’s world."

- Miss Marilyn
"In the Music Spotlight"
CJTR 91.3FM

- 91.3 FM CJTR


"Musician prepares for Canada Day Concert"

The Kamsack Times - Thurs June 25th 2009

Having returned from a four-date tour last week with his band The Co-accused, Richard Groulx is at home in Kamsack preparing for his major hometown debut as a high liner of the Canada Day concert.

Groulx, who performed a short set during the Cyclone Day in Kamsack on June 6, performed with The Co-accused at Bud's on Broadway in Saskatoon on June 17th and 18th. He and the Co-accused were at The Crown and Tower Pub in St. Albert, Alta., on Friday, and at The Black Dog in Edmonton on Saturday.

He will be joined by the Co-accused on stage in Kamsack on July 1st.

"I have been very busy with renting a trailer for the tour, moving out of my apartment in Regina and ensuring all our accommodations are in order for the mini tour," Groulx said last week.

Creating music that has been described as "Americana," which is said to be a fusion of folk, rock, alternative country, blues and pop, Groulx (pronounced "grew"), is a very recent new resident to Kamsack, and he says he knows what it means to be a truly independant artist.

"I know that success doesn't come from waiting in line, not in this business anyway," he said.

Perhaps that's why he titled his debut album One Man Solidarity.

Or perhaps it's because as an entrepreneur, composer, lyricist, lead guitarist, lead vocalist and self-manager, he's used to doing it all.

Groulx wrote all the music and lyrics on the album, funded it out of his own pocket, and served as the album's producer. It was released in November 2008, "after a year's worth of gigging, set list tweaking, expanding and recording."

Among the reviews the album has to date received are:
"One Man Solidarity is musically varied and embodies the best of rock, folk and blues genres," said the University of Regina Carillon.

"Above all, this album is easy to identify with and a good album to sing along to," said The Regina Leader Post

One Man Solidarity has received airplay on CBC Saskatchewan, 91.3 CJTR Regina Community Radio, as well as 90.5 CFCR Saskatoon Community Radio.

"Of course, concept album or not, nobody who has ever had success has truly done it all on his or her own," Groulx said, crediting in particular his musical co-consipators: Philip Legrand and Nathaniel Bowen.

Together they are know as The Co-accused, which has been called one of the most vesatile trios around and, according to those in the business, is emergin as one of the most promising new groups out of Saskatchewan.

The group has played venues as diverse as high-end lounges, roughneck biker bars and hippy arts festival stages.

Andew Markle of the Prairie Dog has referred to The Co-accused sound as 'gritty folk.'

With the release of their debut album, plans for a new album, an eye to festivals this year and a Western Canadian summer tour, Groulx and the Co-accused aim to build upon the success of their recent live shows and a freshly-released album with a number of live shows in venues both new and old.

Groulx said he has been inspired by the energy of rock n' roll and was educated in the contemporary jazz idiom, and he found himself performing in a number of modern folk and alternative-country outfits.

"Those were the influences that have shaped us," he said. "Our audiences have said that they are captured by this versatile, impassioned and energetic original act."

The band was formed in late 2007 by Groulx, who is a schooled, experienced musician and songwriter. It has been said that Groulx has a strong stage presence and respect for professionalism in the industry.

Based on prior experience in an array of groups, Groulx handpicked his rhythm section players and each one, Legrand on Bass and Bowen on drums, possesses a decade of experience serving as sidemen in various groups.

Regarded by many as "new to the scene," The Co-accused have the good fortune to be considered both fresh and new, as well as seasoned and professional.

The band is noted for its musical diversity and ability to adapt for each gig or 'play to the room.'

The Co-accused are just as comfortable in subdued lounge settings with dining patrons as they are in a rowdy rock n' roll bar or on a festival stage, Groulx said. "The plain truth is that this band loves nothing more than to perform and make a connection with our audience."

"We put our hearts into every performance and always leave a crowd with that magical buzzing feeling that only comes after witnessing a truly passionate live performance," he said.

"I'm just a dude who took every opportunity to be involved in music that came my way and made every sacrifice to keep being involved," he said. "I choose to have less so I can do more of what I like. I've always preferred to spend my time creating rather than consuming."

"I'm not interested in pursuing the modern conventional way of life. Just because something is conventional doesn't mean it's right or best. I'm the kind of person who can only get behind something if it feels right. I rely heavily on my intuition and rationale."

"Still, I recognize that many of my views have changed as I get older, but so far I'm still trying to live up to the expectations I put on myself as a 12 year old who realized I had a lot to say."

Groulx said that as a youth he knew he wanted to be a musician.

"And not one of those phonies, but a real one," he said. "I'm 27 now and I've been playing guitar, singing, learning, performing, writing, and growing ever since I made the choice to do so. It seems like a terrible waste to stop now."

Groulx spent a couple of years in Alberta, followed by another two years in Nova Scotia studying classical and contemporary music theory, guitar performance, composition, arranging and every modern style imaginable. He is thankful he wound up with a Bachelor of Music degree.

"That's great and everything, but I was so glad to finally graduate in 2006 so I could get back to the business of being me: playing, composing, and pursuing whatever I like."

Professionally, he's played with a diverse number of artists.

"I've played in outlaw country and folk-rock outfits, backed up various singer songwriters on lead guitar and toured Western Canada in a seven-piece ska band."

"I've been blessed to grace the stage at numberous clubs, and festivals in support of many fine artists," he said. "I've also taught guitar lessons privately and done my part to promote local music in Regina."

"It's been great, but I keep returning to those darn dreams of mine," he said. "The most important thing I do is write and perform my music. Everything I've done up to this point has been geared towards it. The hours of practice, the odd jobs that paid the bills, the stage experience gained in other groups, all of life's bizarre encounters that give me inspiration."

"The most important thing has always been to put my best foot forward and to make sure that those feet are headed in the right direction."

"Luckily, towards this end, my two strongest traits are my stubborness and my passion," Groulx said. "They definitely keep things interesting." - The Kamsack Times


Discography

'One Man Solidarity' Nov 2008

Photos

Bio

**'the Co-accused' will be on tour in Western Canada this June, July and August. Booking is now underway. Please submit all inquiries to: richard@thecoaccused.com
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‘the Co-accused’ is more than a band, it’s a musical organism; the pet project of Saskatchewan musician Richard Groulx. As a chameleon changes colour, ‘the Co-accused’ transforms sound, style, and even size to suit its particular mood, surroundings and circumstances in an ever changing musical landscape.

An omnivore, ‘the Co-accused’ diet consists of a healthy mix of blues, rock, americana, alt-country, folk, pop, chips, berries and nuts.

It is well documented that 'the Co-accused', a most resourceful creature, thrives in a variety of habitats ranging from hippy festival stages to urban lounges, as well as brew pubs, biker bars and country watering holes.

‘the Co-accused’ is known for periods of creative winter hibernation followed by seasonal travel of established migratory paths, most notably in the Canadian prairies.

Musicological research shows that the trio version of ‘the Co-accused’ arose as early as December 2007. The Debut EP ‘One Man Solidarity’ (Nov 2008) provides a detailed 'record' of the trios musical adeptness and diversity. However sightings/hearings of this once prominent group are being reported less frequently as the trio’s status has recently been downgraded from threatened to endangered.

That said, ‘the Co-accused’ will never die! We are currently witnessing a breathtaking evolution; band leader Richard Groulx has assembled a unique drum kit (bass drum, double-kick snare and hi-hats.) This allows him to lay a heavy beat, completely with his feet, while also adding thick, rhythmic electric guitar, harmonica lines and raw emotive vocals.

As another creative hibernation season meets its end, this new one-man edition of ‘the Co-accused’ begins preparation for a busy season of foraging, and rummaging its way across the Canadian countryside. All data indicates that ‘the Co-accused’ will continue to grow, prosper and expand its territory in 2010 and beyond.

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'the Co-accused' has performed in communities including Bengough, Borden, Brandon, Cadillac, Coderre, Edmonton, Fort Qu'appelle, Grayson, Gravelbourg, Guernsey, Kamsack, Lemberg, Lethbridge, Maple Creek, Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw, Nokomis, Regina, Regina beach, Saskatoon, Shaunavon, Stockholm, St. Albert and Yorkton to name a few.