Vishten travel the world

In the seven years since their formation, Prince Edward Island band Vishten have toured the world touting their unique brand of new-traditional Acadian music, having played more than 1000 shows in eight different countries. Comprised of twin sisters Emmanuelle and Pastelle Leblanc, the group is rounded out by Magdelen Island natives Pascal Miousse and Louis-Charles Vigneau.

Vishten will be playing the Lotto Max Molson Canadian Mainstage in Downtown Moncton on Thursday September 23 as a part of the Touchdown Atlantic festivities.

You wouldn’t necessarily know it by looking at their tour schedule but Vishten are actually playing fewer shows per year now than they were in the earlier part of their career.

Band member Emmanuelle Leblanc says the group routinely plays 120 or shows per year, having cut back from the more than 150 they had started out doing.

“We decided to cut back on the amount of shows we were playing to help give us some breathing room. We have been on the go since June, starting with some shows in PEI before we moved on to play Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland as well as some shows in the United States,” she says.

Leblanc states that the US is actually one of the group’s best markets of anywhere in the world hence a US-heavy tour schedule this coming fall.

“We have been playing the States for years, mostly in Northern States like Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. But no matter where we play there, we are always well received.”

Asked whether the fact the group singing exclusively in French is a barrier between the band and their American audience, Leblanc emphatically states that this has never been the case.

“I think they find it a little exotic, to be honest with you,” she says. “Music is an international language and even though we sing exclusively in French, we communicate with our audience in English to explain the stories behind our songs.

“All the crowds that we play for are very interested in the Acadian culture and this little corner of the world that we are from. So no, language is definitely not a hinderence.”

The group’s most recent CD is a live disc that was released in 2008. Leblanc confirms however that the band is hopeful that 2011 will finally see the release of a new Vishten CD.

“We have the material planned out and will be recording over the next year. We were actually supposed to be recording over the fall but were offered the chance to tour so I think that the studio will have to wait just a little longer.”

Article published in September 21, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript