Introducing... Fraser & Girard
The New York Times said of Fraser’s songs,
“...with this range of feeling, dense imagery and unexpected depth, these words may well find a place in the oral tradition of poetry.”
Fraser’s compositions have been recorded by John Oates (Hall and Oates), Tom Russell, Garrison Keillor with Andra Suchy, of Prairie Home Companion, Cal Hand with Leo Kottke, Pat Donahue, Bill Hinkley and Judy Larson, (also on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion), The Duhks, Penny Lang and Ron Hynes.
NPR listed Allan’s signature song, Dance Hall Girls, as one of the 10 best songs of all time. Songwriter Hall of Fame member John Oates recorded Dance Hall Girls on two recent albums which he calls a tribute to the songs that shaped his career.
Fraser was half of still influential musical duo, Fraser & DeBolt. They toured extensively and recorded two seminal albums with Columbia Records.
CANADIAN FOLK MUSIC AWARDS nominee Marianne Girard has recorded three solo albums and appeared on many compilation albums, as artist and session musician. She has toured her music in North America and Europe to such praise as:
“This Canadian Nightingale has not left my player in weeks” –RTL Radio Belgium.
“... a revelation ... served exquisitely by a voice that’s unequivocally pure and unrestrained.” –Toronto Star
“Consistently stellar performance.” –All Music Guide
THESE TWO HIGHLY REGARDED CANADIAN singer/songwriters crossed paths many times in their solo careers. In August 2013, they met again over tea under a Japanese maple in Toronto.
Joining minds, hearts and two lifetimes of music, Fraser & Girard emerged.
Both write great songs. Their storied pasts of life on the road, of raising families, of a deepening sense of beauty and art, weave a moral and artistic fabric that is indestructible. Their enduring strength moves audiences to laughter and to tears. Together, they offer an abundance of riches. The resulting chemistry unfolds in spontaneous and unpredictable ways.
Audience and industry enthusiasm were apparent from the beginning. The London Free Press describes them as “...an incomparable couple, both on and off the stage.”
Soon after their initial performances in 2014, they began recording with producer Paul Mills (Stan Rogers, Sharon, Lois and Bram, Laura Smith). The album, Fraser & Girard, was released in June 2015, and continues to generate inspired media response.
For three years, they lived with their two Siamese cats, 80 kilometers north of Toronto in Orangeville where they enjoyed Morris dancing, hiking and the best coffee in the world at their favourite coffee shop, Mochaberry.
In August 2016, bulldozers appeared on their street and began months of destruction, chaos and dust. Wanting a better view, Marianne and Allan went to visit a friend in Italy... and stayed. Looking out over the hills of Umbria, they found renewed inspiration and continued to deepen their artistic work. They recorded several songs in a local studio while enjoying the wine and cuisine of the region. In December, they went to Mexico to spend Christmas in the sun... and stayed. With the new camaraderie of local musicians, their inspiration continued. They returned home for Ontario tour dates in May. They will spend the summer separately with family, Marianne in Melbourne, Australia and Allan, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In September, they reunite in St Andrews-By-The Sea, New Brunswick for a month-long artists' residency at Salty Towers.
In October, they return to Italy to prepare for concerts.
As half of the critically acclaimed and influential Columbia Records duo , Fraser & DeBolt, Allan Fraser released two albums internationally and toured extensively.
The New York Times described Allan’s songs as gypsy theatre: “... with this range of feeling, dense imagery and unexpected depth, their words may well find a place in the oral tradition of poetry …”
Cashbox Canada magazine's Don Graham reviewed Fraser's August 2012 Toronto concert as: "... an amazing evening of music ... there is still a buzz about Allan Fraser ... The audience was there to soak up the Fraser vibe and were thrilled ... there is no mistaking his original sound and style ... make sure you get out and experience this truly original artist and his work..."
Fraser’s songs have been recorded by Songwriters Hall of Fame member John Oates (Hall and Oates), Tom Russell, Cal Hand with Leo Kottke, Penny Lang and the Duhks. Oates recorded Fraser’s signature title, Dance Hall Girls, twice; first, on his album, “Mississippi Mile,” an homage to the songwriters who most most influenced Oates' work, and, the following year, on “The Bluesville Sessions.”
National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion, a network favorite for more than 4 decades, has featured Fraser's compositions several times. Host Garrison Keillor performed Fraser's Waltz of the Tennis Players with singer, Andra Suchy. (To hear it, use the link and advance the player to segment 2 , minute 58:15)
Cast member, Pat Donahue sang Dance Hall Girls when the show visited Baltimore. Hear it at show segment 1, minute 39:12.
Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee, Marianne Girard will "melt your heart and move your feet". Born in London, Ontario, and raised in rural Middlesex County, Marianne's musical awakening began in the London Smale's Pace Coffee House music scene in the company of prominent Canadian artists like Stan Rogers, the Good Brothers, Willie P. Bennett, David Bradstreet, Colleen Peterson, Lisa Garber, John P. Allen and Colin Linden.
Raising a family on her own, Marianne stopped touring when her young daughter pleaded, "Mom, I just want a normal life!" Girard's life as an artist led her to re-train as an expressive arts therapist in rural clinics, reserves, schools, rehab centers and hospitals. This allowed her to stay close to home to raise her daughters. In 2002, songwriter, Norm Hacking coaxed her back to the music business which soon led to the release of Marianne's album, "In This Town" produced by John Switzer.
A highlight of this re-emergence was her live performance in 2006 on the “Midnight Special” at WFMT radio in Chicago, which broadcast worldwide on XM/Sirius radio.
Marianne has three albums, 'When It Hurts', 'In This Town', and 'Pirate Days'. This latest work was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award.
Girard has appeared on many compilation recording projects, as a featured performer and as a session singer and player.
The Toronto Star's Greg Quill describes Marianne's music as "…a revelation... alternatively bold and tender...served exquisitely by a voice that's unequivocally pure and joyfully unrestrained..." and he describes her songs as "panoramic ruminations'".
Penquin Eggs, Canada's Folk magazine's response to the work: "Wow!... Not likely to forget about this one. She DOES stand out. Big time!"
"I think that one measure of a good album is if you go around for days after listening to it with a couple of the songs constantly playing in your head," says Eli Marcus, Peace Radio, Israel.
RTL Radio Belgium dubbed her a “Canadian nightingale.”
All Music Guide points to her "consistently stellar performance".
Toronto Life magazine describes Girard's work as a “tour de force.”
Fraser & Girard show all the magic that can occur when two gifted singer-songwriters join forces. Both have great songs. Both have everything it takes to completely satisfy an audience on their own. Together they offer an abundance of riches. And while each of them complements the other’s songs in ways that reflect their own strong musical identity, both are focused only on the song at hand. The resulting musical chemistry unfolds in spontaneous and unpredictable ways, creating one moment after another of unexpected grace and joy.