George Belliveau plays to the world

After wowing audiences in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics in February, Acadian country artist George Belliveau is getting another shot at performing for an international audience later this week. He is one of a dozen artists and bands slated to play Downtown Moncton as a part of the Mosaiq Concert Series which starts on Thursday.  Belliveau will be joining In-Flight Safety and HAJAMadagascar on the Atlantic Lottery Mainstage (in front of Moncton City Hall on Main Street) for a show on Friday July 23 starting at 7:30 pm. 

Belliveau makes no qualms about his love of performing live and is looking forward to using his upcoming Moncton show as an opportunity to win over some fans from many of the international countries who are in Moncton in conjunction with the IAAF. 

“Having the IAAF take place in Moncton is a great opportunity for people from outside of our community to see what the city has to offer. Plus, it is great for me to be a part of it and having the chance to perform, much like it was at the Olympics” Belliveau says. 

He goes on to say that the diversity of the crowd featured at events like the IAAF and the Olympics is truly great to see and that it is indeed a rarity to be able to share your music with so many different cultures. 

“There is no doubt that all of the artists who performed at the Olympics had the opportunity to score some good international exposure. While there, I played a show at Atlantic House, a 400-person capacity theatre that was packed each and every night. People were at the shows to party – it was a lot like the East Coast in that way,” he laughs. 

If you’re not already familiar with the George Belliveau name, he has been a star on the Acadian music scene for years now. 

As a part of the now defunct band Bois Joli, Belliveau and the group sold upwards of 20,000 copies of their four records, including the 2008 “Les Hits” release. Although Bois Joli’s debut record accounts for a large majority of their total album sales, the group decided to revise and re-record a number of the songs from their debut for “Les Hits”. 

“When we made our first record in 1998, we weren’t all as comfortable with the studio as we got to be later in our career. We felt there were a lot of good tracks on our debut that weren’t necessarily given the representation we would have liked to have seen. When it came time to put ‘Les Hits’ together, we thought it would be great to give some of our oldest songs a second chance to send the band off in a positive way.” 

Even though Bois Joli has no future plans to speak of, Belliveau is quick to acknowledge that the success of the group has undoubtedly helped his solo career to date: 

“My solo career is rooted in more of the American Country genre where Bois Joli was considerably more folk-oriented and traditional. But where I was the voice behind Bois Joli, I have been lucky to hold onto a lot of Bois Joli fans while also winning over new fans that might have been too young to remember Bois Joli as a band.” 

Aside from playing a number of shows over the remainder of the summer, Belliveau is also in the writing stages of his third solo record, the follow-up to “Prise 2” which was released in 2008. 

“I have the bulk of the songs written for a new record. Many of them are started but aren’t quite finished just yet. We have to look at adding lyrics to many of the tracks which I will be doing with the help of some co-writers,” he says. 

Owning your own recording studio is a plus for any musician and as Belliveau is one of those fortunate souls, he has deservedly given himself the summer “off” to ensure that he is prepared when it comes time to start the actual recording. 

“I don’t tend to work much in the summer time,” he laughs. “And for this summer, I had decided that playing shows and writing my new record would be my primary focus so that I don’t have a lot on my plate at once come the fall.”

Article published in July 20, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript