Acadian Singers Share The Stage

Photo by Jocelyne Vautour
Photo by Jocelyne Vautour

Two generations of Acadian singer-songwriters will be joining forces for a night of music at the Empress Theatre in downtown Moncton on Wednesday night.

Pascal Lejeune, one of the region’s best Acadian songwriters, will perform alongside Georges Langford, an Iles-de-la-Madeleine native whose first album was released in 1973.

Born in Pointe-Verte in northeastern New Brunswick, Pascal was exposed to music early in his life. This was in large part thanks to his father who played in a rock ‘n’ roll band as he was growing up. It should be of little surprise then that Pascal would find his own way into music. But even after international tours as well as racking up an impressive number of songwriting contest wins, awards and prizes, Pascal pulled away from music for a brief period of time. He engaged his entrepreneurial spirit and opened a café in Petit-Rocher.

‘I had wanted to put music on hold. The business side of things just seemed a little too complicated and exhausting,’ Pascal says. ‘I had no manager at the time and it was tough to figure out what to do. I had to get away from music for a little while to gain some perspective and so I opened a café.’

Before long, Pascal began hosting music performances in his café. It was watching those performances that reignited his desire to begin making music again.

‘I was being constantly reminded of how much I enjoyed playing music. Watching those other artists play is what drew me back in. I began writing again and before long, the bulk of my first album Le commun des bordels was written in the café.

‘I think that no matter what you do, you are going to be influenced by what is around you as well as whom you are surrounded by. I just happened to take a different road to ar­rive at making music again.’

With a newfound determination and desire to pursue music, Pascal hired a manager and relentlessly toured Canada, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Slovenia.

Pascal released his second full-length effort, Adelaïde , in 2009. His most recent album, Le bruit des machines was released last year. He says that there are numerous differences to be found between the three albums, mostly of the musical kind.

‘My three records are completely different from one another. My debut was the record where I was showing the influence of the ‘chanson Française’ while my sophomore record was considerably more folk-influenced. My most recent record is a rock ‘n’ roll album. I feel a constant need to try new things and explore new styles. I feel that as I grow as an artist, I am figuring out who I am as a person.’

Asked if he is currently writing songs that will be included on his fourth album, Pascal says that he does not tend to write songs explicitly for inclusion on an album. Writing is an ongoing process.

‘Songwriting is like a curse that I can’t get rid of,’ he says. ‘I don’t write songs thinking about them being on an album. I write music because it is what I need to do and what I love to do.’ Whether it was fate or a mere coincidence, the first time that Georges Langford met Pascal was at the latter’s café.

‘I had performed a few shows at Pascal’s bistro and then performed together for the first time at a songwriters circle,’ Langford tells the Times & Transcript. ‘Pascal then played some shows on les Iles-dela-Madeleine and we discovered an affinity for one another’s music.’

With only five records under his belt over the last 40 years, Langford continues to enjoy performing and writing. With an approximate 40 to 50 songs to choose from, Georges says that he hopes to get back into the studio at some as-of-yet-undetermined point.

But in the meantime, Georges still loves making music.

‘I still very much enjoy playing shows every once in a while. It is so nice to get out there and meet the people who support my music.’

Article published in the June 11, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript