Acadian country singer George Belliveau will be launching his third solo album, Whisky amer, on Thursday, June 23rd, from 5 to 7 pm, at the Empress theatre, in Moncton. This new album is accompanied with a DVD of a show recorded live in front of screaming fans.
His first single La Band, which introduces the listener to the rest of the album, is already on the airwaves of Atlantic Canada’s radios and elsewhere in Canada. The country rock song is fit to accompany anyone on their summer road trips.
With Whisky amer, George wished to build a bridge between his first two albums L’Amour viendra nous sauver (2006) and Prise 2 (2008): “I wanted to take my favorite elements from my previous albums, such as the production work on the first and the raw energy from the second, and make something that’s more like me, more akin to what I want to offer as an artist.” The result is francophone American country, on a rock background with a little twist that’s totally George Belliveau. This album was produced with the idea of performing live on stage always in mind: “From A to Z, whether it’s the melodies, the lyrics or the arrangements, everything was created with the goal to entertain. I am certain that these news tunes will become new fan favorites during the shows.”
The title Whisky amer (Bitter Whisky) was taken from the track Johnny Cash, a Steve Veilleux cover, the singer of Quebec rock band Kaïn.
While he thinks of himself more as a music composer, George did co-write the lyrics of three songs on this album: Papier jauni, with Monique Poirier; Bienvenue aux années 2000, with Mireille Haché, and Call in Sick, with Daniel Léger. He has also collaborated with new songwriters such as Samuel Chiasson, Radio-Canada show host and humorist with La revue acadienne (Lève ta drink, De fil en amour), Gino Cormier who is known for his work with Acadian bluegrass artist Paul Hébert (Peux-tu me blamer?, Trop tard), and Christian KIT Goguen, who wrote the touching song Petit bout de fille, which George has dedicated to his daughter.
Like his previous albums, George produced Whisky amer with the collaboration of Mario Robichaud and Mike Bourgeois. It was recorded in his studio in Grand-Barachois by the singer and Jean-Pascal Comeau. The album was mixed by George Belliveau, except for the tracks Lève ta drink and Trop tard, which were mixed at the Pumpk’npatch studios (Memramcook), by Danny Bourgeois. Hank Williams mastered the album at the studio MasterMix, in Nashville, Tennessee. The cover art for the album was designed by Mélissa Doucet.
For this album, George has surrounded himself with his usual suspects, his band of loyal musicians who have accompanied him for the past few years: Mike Bourgeois (voice, electric and acoustic guitar, ganjo), Mario Robichaud (voice, keyboards), Chris Wheaton (voice, bass), Dillon Robicheau (banjo, mandoline), and Danny Bourgeois (drums). Other local musicians have added their talents to the lot: Janelle Dupuis (violin), Jean-Guy Grenier (steel), Daniel Maillet (dobro), Paul Hébert (voice), Robert Arsenault (voice), Izabelle Ouellet (voice), Daniel Léger (voice), and André LeBlanc (programming).
A gift for the fans
As a bonus with the new album, the DVD George Belliveau Live au Rockin’ Rodeo, recorded live in the Moncton bar (now the iRock) on October 12, 2010 is a gift to the fans. George and his band are performing fan favorites from his two previous albums in front of a cheerful audience. “As a music lover, I enjoy tremendously seeing musicians performing on stage. While you may not get the chance to see your favorite artist live, I find that seeing a live show DVD gives you an experience that you may not get from just an audio album. My band and I love to perform. That is why we do what we do. This recording immortalized a special moment we had with the fans.”
The DVD was produced by Botsford Productions (Moncton). Martin Goguen took care of the video editing. Gilles Doiron, Martin Goguen, Jean-Marc Goguen, Kevin McIntyre, Rémi Ross were on the cameras while Denis Roussel and Pierre Boudreau worked on the lighting. John Maher did the sound check. George Belliveau did the post-production audio work.
On the road again
This new album is the beginning of a very busy summer for George and his band. While he will present solo shows, he will also take the stage as part of the “Trio acadien” with fellow Acadian artists: Jean-François Breau and Wilfred Lebouthillier. He will also make a stop in Dieppe for a reunion show with Bois-Joli, in August.
June 11 – Balmoral, NB – with the Trio acadien
June 15 – Shédiac, NB
July 1st – Moncton, NB
July 2nd – Casino, Moncton NB
July 9th – Îles de la Madeleine, Qc with the Trio acadien
July 16th – Petit-Rocher, NB
July 23rd – Chéticamp, NÉ
July 31st – Edmundston, NB – with the Trio acadien
August 12th – Caraquet, NB – with the Trio acadien
August 13th – Dieppe, NB – with Bois-Joli
August 15th – Bouctouche, NB (Acadian national holiday at the Pays de la Sagouine)
Hailing from Pré-d’en-Haut, in South East New Brunswick, George Belliveau grew up in musical family that gained recognition on the Acadian music scene. He has been part of several bands who made their mark such as Belivo and the very popular Bois-Joli, for which he was the lead singer. In 2006, he launched his solo career with a new sound and a new album L’amour viendra nous sauver, a francophone American country album that got him two nominations at the 2007 ECMA. In the summer of 2008, he reunited with Bois-Joli to launch an album of their greatest hits. Later that year, he launched his second solo album, Prise 2, on which he kept in the country genre but managed to bring others while being more risqué and melodic than the first.
The album Whisky amer is distributed by Distribution Plages and can be bought at www.plages.net. The cover art was designed by Mélissa Doucet who also signs the photos credits with Matt LeBlanc.