Les Francos are reuniting with several Quebec artists this year, including Edith Butler, who was able to present the songs from her latest album, The tour of the Grand BoisWednesday night, at the Loto-Québec open-air stage.
Arriving to the rhythms of Le Tour du Grand Bois, Edith Butler was delighted by her presence. “It’s really a miracle for me to return to the Francos de Montréal,” she said. Tonight I’m going to play you all the songs from my latest album, all in full length, plus songs you’ll recognize.”
After joking that Google translated her album’s title to “The Power of the Large Wood,” she continued with the song “Marie Caissie,” followed immediately by Anique Granger’s “Jerrycan,” sort of an answer to the previous one Song.
Between songs, the singer likes to chat with the audience, even if she sometimes gets lost in her stories. She tells all sorts of personal anecdotes, from her tank accident to her raven, which she called Bacon, to her breast cancer. Thanks to his disarming sincerity, his humor hits the mark with every intervention.
“I found more than 2000 ways to sing À la Claire Fontaine in my university archives,” she proclaimed, before offering her own version, which appeared on her 1983 album De Paquetville à Paris.
Surrounded by five musicians (guitars, drums and violin), Edith Butler delivered her last songs out of line, including La lamente de Marie Madeleine, La 20, Dans l’bois.
“I would like to dedicate this song to all my friends who have recently passed away and not just from COVID-19. I lost a lot. My mother also died and I couldn’t go to the funeral. René Martel, who was a good friend of Michel Louvain…” she breathed before launching Pauvre Ruteboeuf.
The energy of the singer, who will celebrate her 80th birthday at the end of July, is still there. “I’m four times twenty years old, it’s four times more fun. But one thing the younger ones and even the older ones should know is that one should never give up. I’ll show you what an 80-year-old woman can do.” She then grabbed her harmonica to perform an intense blues whose secret she knows.
Among the classics of her repertoire that she released for the occasion were Au chant de l’Alouette, I say thank you, or Oh dear, you want to hear me dance.
As a surprise of the evening, Lisa Leblanc came to do two songs (Tit Galop for Mamou and Ti-gars) with the one she defines as a pioneer of Acadia.
However, the one with a career spanning more than 50 years couldn’t miss her popular anthem, Paquetville morphed into Rosaireville in honor of Lisa Leblanc, who delivered it as an encore before leaving the stage.