Folly and the Hunter Arrive in N.B., With Pleasing Folk Sounds

With the Halifax Pop Explosion happening this weekend, lots of hot, hip, happening new groups are being brought into the city for the event, from across the country and into the U.S. And lucky for N.B., that means some of them are taking advantage of the proximity to do some dates in this province as well. One of them is Folly and the Hunter, a new-style folk group out of Montreal. Their debut album, Residents, brought them lots of acclaim nationally, and they are in the process of readying their next one, out in the new year. The band features a trio of multi-instrumentalists and singers, with lots of rich and bright sounds and harmonies.

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The songs can feature pure piano tones, banjo plucks, mandolin or occasional strings, moved up in the mix to create a sweet, pleasing overall feel. The next layer is the vocals, a little bit submerged, adding to the gentle airy atmosphere of the tracks. High doubling harmonies keep the pretty mood going. Quiet drums, bass and acoustic guitars fill in the rest, never overwhelming the singers. Apart from echo, the piano is never treated, a rarer sound in today's young folk movement, and other than the vocals, it's the dominate instrument here, and sets Folly apart. All the songs, whether its the mando-banjo Folly, or the crisp, semi-classical Sur Jeanne Mance, with its cheerful piano, have this pleasing and uplifting mood. But the songs are also calm, so the mood sneaks up on you and holds you a long time.

All this leads me to believe the live show will be a heart-warming experience, and you can find out starting tonight, Wednesday Oct. 17th at The Cedar Tree in Fredericton at 8:30, and then Thursday night the 18th, at Cafe Aberdeen in Moncton, along with those local favourites, Les Hay Babies, same 8:30 start time.

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About Bob Mersereau

Rockin' BobBob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).

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