European tour successful for Ten Strings and a Goat Skin

P.E.I. favourites Ten Strings and a Goat Skin are back home for a few days, after a big European tour, and now will launch their new album on Thursday in Charlottetown.

Trio is launching their new album, Auprès Du Poêle, Thursday in Charlottetown

P.E.I.'s Ten Strings and a Goat Skin just finished a 3 week tour of Europe, winning a major award at one festival. (Ten Strings and a Goat Skin)

The members of the P.E.I. traditional group Ten Strings and a Goat Skin make waves and fans wherever they perform, and lately that's been all around the world.

The trio has just returned from a great show at a festival in Switzerland, where they picked up a jury prize, part of their European tour.

There's no rest though, literally, as Angela Walker found out when the group came into the studio for CBC Radio's Mainstreet.

They got home from Europe just hours before.

Rowan and Caleb Gallant, and Jesse Periard made it to their CBC Radio interview Monday, but could have used some extra sleep after arriving back from Europe in the middle of the night. (Angela Walker/CBC)
"Probably, individually, back to our houses around 3 a.m.," said Jesse Periard.

"We were there for about three and a half weeks, it was mainly a Switzerland tour," he said. "We did a lot of dates in the French and German parts of Switzerland, and two or three dates in southern France, and it was a blast.

"This was actually our sixth time in Europe, and our third time in Switzerland, and it was just like every other time, lots of mountains, lots of chocolate, lots of good shows."

Pully prize

One of the highlights was being invited to perform at theFestival Pully Lavaux à l'heure du Québec, a big event that celebrates the Francophone music of North America each year in Pully, Switzerland.

Playing with 16 other groups, they were chosen for a big prize, figuratively and literally.

"It was a juried prize, we were very very excited, it was called Le prix du Pully, so we got the prize of Pully, the town we were in, which was an honour," said Caleb Gallant. "It was cool, we got a big ol' heavy trophy, we couldn't bring it with us, so we gave it to a friend of ours in Switzerland."

"We're going to go back and admire it. It would have set us over our limit for baggage," laughed Periard.

New album

The group was playing new music from its just-released album, Auprès Du Poêle, which came out right at the start of the tour.

They are relieved to finally have it available, after a gap of three years since their last recording, Corbeau.

The new album by Ten Strings and a Goat Skin, Auprès Du Poêle, has its P.E.I. launch Thursday, June 30. (Ten Strings and a Goat Skin)
"The three year break was because we were all studying," explained Caleb Gallant's brother, Rowan. "Caleb and Jesse both finished their programs, I don't have my fancy piece of paper yet. We wanted to put that first, then of course we started touring, and we needed about a year to develop the material."

Because they were across the ocean, the group hasn't done a proper release show for P.E.I. yet, but that's next, Thursday night at the Pourhouse in Charlottetown.

"It's been a little bit hectic just because we've been on the road, but we're going to buckle down to plan the night now," said Rowan.

Veggie tray?

"We're hoping to have some special friends and guests come up and join us here and there, maybe an opener set. Really it's a showcase for the new stuff, I think that people are going to come out for even just that. We're thinking maybe some veggie trays? We'll figure something out," he laughs.

They all said it would be a low-key affair, but the rest of the summer is anything but for the band.

They're heading west next week, with a show at the fabled Mariposa Folk Festival in Ontario, and continuing on across the land until they get to the Vancouver Folk Festival.

Tickets for The Pourhouse show Thursday night, June 30 are $20, and available at the bar.

From the Mainstreet interview by Angela Walker