The pedestrian friendly environment of Robinson Court will play host to the acclaimed acoustic trio Les Hay Babies on Friday, July 27, Arseneault on August 10 and The BackYard Devils on August 24. Weather permitting, the shows are slated to run from approximately 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Downtown Moncton’s Nick Robertson says that the seed for an ongoing series of shows was planted last summer when the BackYardDevils played Robinson Court. Although the Devils’ show was a one-off performance, the thought of expanding it to be something more frequent and regular crossed his mind.
“When we had the BackYard Devils play Robinson Court last summer, the show ended up being a great success,” Robertson says. “We really felt as though the city comes to life when there is music playing in the streets, especially in the early evening hours.”
As a big supporter of local music, Robertson says that promoting local talent is something that he is all too happy to do. He says that the Robinson Court shows will offer music lovers a nice sample of the diverse musical acts that call the Metro Moncton area home.
Arseneault’s music is a compelling mix of traditional Acadian influences with modern flourishes while the BackYard Devils have emerged as one of the city’s most popular bluegrass-influences acts. Les Hay Babies folk-acoustic leanings had many people buzzing during this past April’s East Coast Music Awards held here in Moncton.
In early June, Arseneault celebrated the release of its newest record Riguedigue with a well-received show at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre. Lyricist Linda Arseneault takes inspiration for her lyrics from everyday life while also incorporating her Acadian culture.
“Paying tribute to our Acadian culture has always been important for us because it has been a part of our family for such a long time,” Arseneault told The Times & Transcript last month. “Our history is really what is at the very core of the band. With Riguedigue, we have incorporated our Acadian culture but also look at including a wider range of music. That being said, we would never dream of abandoning our Acadian culture for the purpose of trying to make ourselves more popular.”
Since the release of its debut CD to a standing-room only crowd last year, The BackYard Devils have had a rather full plate. Last October, the group brought home three Music New Brunswick Awards for the self-titled album including Emerging Artist of the Year, Group of the Year and Anglophone Country Recording of the Year.
BackYard Devils member Erik Arsenault says that his group has kept fairly busy since the release of the record but is actually preparing to slow the pace of the band down somewhat as summer progresses.
“We have some shows lined up in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island this summer but we are anticipating being somewhat low key as a couple of the guys in the band are off to France to perform in a music festival there, while our bass player Remi and his wife are anticipating a new arrival. So things will be slowing down somewhat for us,” Arsenault shares.
The buzz around Les Hay Babies has been growing by leaps and bounds but this has especially been the case since April. The trio of Vivianne Roy, Julie Aube and Katrine Noel took a unique approach to promoting themselves during the East Coast Music Awards, riding the elevators of the Delta Beausejour and giving impromptu performances for whomever was in there with them.
Les Hay Babies are offering a free download of a performance at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge on their Bandcamp site located at leshaybabies.bandcamp.com.
Article publishes in July 17, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript