"The Wonderful Allan Fraser - former Fraser and DeBolt - Finds A New Partner in the Remarkable Marianne Girard" 


See the entire review here.

 

"...Many artists spend an entire career searching for their sound...(some,) in touch with their inner talent, can smoke out the necessary influences, styles and qualities but then they actually recreate something that becomes their own...this...pulls at many traditional elements...I have heard pieces of this before but, in reality, this is new...it’s fresh, has drive and it's reintroduction to new ears is clever. I was captivated by Marianne Girard’s mature deep traditional-seeded vocals and Allan Fraser’s underlining...vocal...The acoustic guitars thread and layer their notes together like the petals in a rose...I knew it  was good, and most of all - enduring. Fraser and Girard are enduring...Fraser and Girard possess a special magic. Maybe it’s the power in their voices. It’s something beyond mere harmonizing...the two voices jell and become unified as one voice that belongs to no one vocalist... the lyrics are obviously part of the entire showcase...Fraser and Girard work off each other’s lead performances in a well-balanced fashion...Paul Mills provides a wonderful classical guitar and this adds to the resonance...appealing and impressive...These two singers fit well together. It’s like listening and revisiting the visual and distinctive songs of Richard and Linda Thompson... a stirring, compelling artery... runs through the material...an intelligent performance – the singing is emotional, it’s arousing and can be danced to...Lyrics that matter; what a concept!...a rustic Americana-Roots inspired foundation... These lyrics are...challenging and ambitious... The acoustic guitars ring and chime like back-up vocalists in the shadows ...fine melodyrich with sound, dramatic, and scuffed with traditional tone. This is a delight.  

 
 

                                                                                 - John Apice / No Depression / June 2015 

 



See the entire review here.

Musical partnerships are touchy things; each person has to complement the other in just the right way.  Even when there's magic, if one overshadows the other, the harmony wears out.  Then it's goodbye, Garfunkel.  C, S and N have all felt the sting of Y over the years. Even the Everlys couldn't take it any more by '74.
 
So it's a brave move when a pair of established performers decide to put it all on the line, and commit to a duet or twelve.  It could all come crashing down in a clash of egos and personalities if you choose wrong.  But when the voices and talents match up, the results are spectacular.
 
Both Allan Fraser and Marianne Girard have substantial folk careers already, as writers and performers.  This is the actual folk music by the way, not a pop band with a banjo, sticking a layer of woosh-woosh on top.  Both are top-quality writers, giving us insightful tales.  In Girard's My Name Is Carol, she gives a voice to a damaged soul: "You've seen me there, along the shore road, in my motor chair." Fraser is less direct with his stories, more impressionistic:  "Well, I was outside St. Louis when I heard the news, that you had inherited the St. Louis Blues, and transplanted them up to the north."
 
Now comes the chemistry.  They each have easy country voices that sound perfect together.  It's the best Canadian folk duo mix since Ian and Sylvia.





'...warm and wonderful!...two great veterans of the Canadian folk music scene...that magical connection of music and personality melding into a great musical whole...sensibilities seem to align perfectly, harmonies meld like butter...feels indescribably good to put on...feels like these two have been playing together for ever. The musical interaction seems passionate yet effortless, unforced and graceful..."                           - Michael Wrycraft, Penquin Eggs

Read Fraser & Girard's October 2015 review in Canada's leading roots music magazine, Penquin Eggs


"

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Fraser and Girard bring a solid show to Hugh's Room 

 (see the review here.)   
                                         

"...a duo who focus equally on lyricism, instrumentation and vocal harmonies...They celebrated their CD release...at Hugh's Room recently, singing songs from Fraser and Girard to a full room. And with the acoustics at Hugh's top-notch as always, there wasn't a bad seat in the house...sheer fun to listen to...between songs, Fraser and Girard bantered back and forth easily, showing the type of easy comfort that comes along with having similar musical styles and backgrounds...Playing through the rest of their set with professionalism and efficiency, Fraser and Girard offered up a set list that was varied in both its emotions and tempos..."Broken Dream"...nearly brought everyone to tears with its haunting melodies and heartbreaking lyrics, with Girard pouring every ounce of emotion into the song...from the way she leaned into the mic to deliver a grittier, raspier voice than seen in her other songs, it was easy to see how she immersed herself in the singing and songwriting process. So if you're wondering what good musical acts there are today where quality isn't sacrificed for entertainment, you've got your answer in Fraser and Girard..." 

                                                                               

                                                           - Christina Strynatka,  examiner.com  June 2015



 






SLAIGHT MUSIC'S BLOG (June 9, 2015), NCM MUSIC CHART AND VISTA MUSIC PRIZE

http://www.newcanadianmusic.ca/releases/f/fraser-girard/fraser-girard/2015-06-09
 

 

Fraser & Girard is a new folk duo, but Allan Fraser and Marianne Girard are far from novices. Fraser found international recognition as one half of noted folk duo Fraser & Debolt, while Girard has long been an acclaimed solo singer/songwriter (her album Pirate Days earned a Canadian Folk Music award nomination). This new pairing has rejuvenated them both, as can be heard on their self-titled debut album. The songwriting is strong and the pair harmonize perfectly. They're joined here by such elite players as Burke Carroll, Dennis Pendrith, Paul Mills (who also produced), Shane Cook, and Michelle Josef. Worthy of note: the track "Dance Hall Girls" was recorded by John Oates on his album Mississippi Mile. We expect the folk community to embrace this with enthusiasm.

They launch the album at Toronto folk hub Hugh's Room on June 14, and will play Fred Eaglesmith's 21st Annual Charity Picnic at Aylmer ON on Aug. 14. Check their site for other shows.



- Review from The Whole Note magazine June 2015
                                                                               
Full Review Here
                                                                                                                                
"...Thank goodness I'm now in a position to get advance copies of things! It seems that Allan Fraser has met a new kindred musical spirit in Marianne Girard and...this new duo has developed a voice of its own. Girard's husky contralto...blends well with Fraser's sometimes gravelly low tenor and I love it when their harmonies are reversed and he takes the high line... I know where I'll be on Sunday June 14  - at Hugh's Room for the launch of Fraser & Girard..."        - David Olds, DISCoveries Editor, The Whole Note magazine,summer 2015




 "I had the honour and privilege of producing this debut recording of a new and dynamic duo - the pairing of two established artists that you already know and love: 
Allan Fraser and Marianne Girard. They are each formidable singer-songwriters but together they have produced something new and very special!"  
 
                                                                       - Paul Mills


 
 




(See the article here.)



“... a new Toronto-based folk duo, Fraser & Girard,an incomparable couple on and off the stage...”

                                                                                                                                                                                               - James Reaney, London Free Press (May 23, 2014)

 
“… a wonderfully intimate evening sharing their music... With a gutsy, country... voice, (Girard) delivers heartfelt, ... moving lyrics... lumps in throats all around... (Fraser's) poetic lyrics... run from quite obtuse symbolism to very simple conversation... He puts me in mind of Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, yes and even Mick Jagger when he gets down and dirty using shouts and falsetto...

So how do they mesh? Wonderfully! ... They're magic...

There is a lovely interplay between them on stage in their banter and eye contact and some tasty guitar work weaving, picking and strumming, back and forth. Vocally, they move from simply beautiful... to tingly shivers... their voices intertwine hitting some neat, jangly minor harmonies... I was reminded of Bert Jansch... (As with Ian & Sylvia) there is that same excitement in the combination of male and female voices of great but different quality. Yes! Again the crowd summed it up. “Wow!”

- Bob Cunningham, The Beat magazine (Jun 19, 2014)  




 
 



“Allan (Fraser) & Marianne (Girard) put on a wonderful show here at London Music Club this past June. Their wit and passion shine through with every word and every chord played... we look forward to having them back here @ LMC. This is world-class singer-songwriter, folk-roots entertainment!”   

-  Pete Denomme, Club Owner, London, ON

Composer, performer Fred Eaglesmith

"No exaggeration, Allan Fraser is the best songwriter in the world."     - Fred Eaglesmith, Canadian composer, performer


on Fraser and DeBolt, April 19, 1971 

“…As in gypsy theatre, their songs are performances and their lyrics are as dramatic and direct as finely spoken folk tales. …With this range of feeling, dense imagery and unexpected depth, their words may well find a place in the oral tradition of poetry...”
    
-  James Lichtenberg, The New York Times (Dec 01, 2011)    
 

“Marianne Girard and Allan Fraser performed as a duo last night at Winterfolk. Their set showed 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 focussed only on the song at hand. The resulting musical chemistry unfolded in spontaneous and unpredictable ways, creating one moment after another of unexpected grace and joy.

The good news is, they plan to make this a regular partnership. Yay! As they said from the stage, the only thing left to sort out is, will they perform as Girard & Fraser or Fraser & Girard? That’s a happy problem.”
 

- David Hines, Toronto musician



The Parlour Concert series at Claude Church on Highway 10 continued recently with a performance by Fraser and Girard, consisting of Allan Fraser and Marianne Girard of Orangeville. They had a good crowd out for their offering of guitar folk music.
Photo by Bill Rea
http://www.newspapers-online.com/caledon/?p=10924



 



“...an amazing evening of music... there is still a buzz about Allan Fraser... there is no
mistaking his original sound and style. If he is performing anywhere near you make sure you get out to experience this truly original artist and his work...”                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                  - Don Graham, Cashbox Canada Magazine

See entire review


 
“Pirate Days is a revelation. Marianne Girard, those familiar with Canadian song craft know, is a proven a songwriter capable of great sensitivity, insight and truthfulness. But this time out, she's taking no prisoners. The vivid song stories on this album are alternatively bold and tender, the tunes clever and memorable, the production tasteful and the ensemble musicianship of the finest order. But on Pirate Days it's the vocal performances that stay with you. They're warm, inclusive, commanding. The confessional, occasionally ribald tone of the songs is served exquisitely by a voice that's unequivocally pure and joyfully unrestrained...”     

- Greg Quill, The Toronto Star


 

Pirate Days “This second CD is filled with compelling, insightful songs. Girard is at her best stepping outside herself to sing from the perspective of older people...or a hermit.... She also writes poignantly about the passing of her mother and with compassion about a woman who is self-destructing... A fine singer, Marianne’s songs are well served by her acoustic-oriented arrangements and... clean production... ”
                                                                             
- Mike Regenstreif, Sing Out! Magazine (Sept 2010)
 

“A group of 50 or so people is gathered in the living room of a home south of Calgary. Friends, neighbours, new acquaintances, they nibble on the selection of food and talk amongst themselves. New arrivals are greeted at the door and welcomed into the excited atmosphere. Yes, indeed, there is an undertone of anticipation. Everyone knows they are about to be treated to a special night.

At the appointed time, all assembled are ushered into the basement. A few make a last minute circle of the dining table while others top off their glass or fill their coffee cup. Never the less, in mere minutes, everyone has gathered in the basement sitting, waiting eagerly.

A light comes up and the hostess appears and says
“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Marianne Girard”.


Marianne takes the stage comfortably. It is an intimate setting and Marianne immediately begins to establish a rapport with her audience. “Can you believe this place?”, she says, only half asking for she is sure they must have heard that before. “It is so great.” Marianne eases into her first, appropriately chosen song. When she is finished, the audience response tells her that she has a knowing and appreciative crowd who are already warming to her performance. Marianne introduces each song with a fitting story. Sometimes short, sometimes personal as when she tells us the inspiration for Amanda On The Train. Those who have listened to Marianne's multi-tracked studio recordings briefly wonder if she can represent the songs as well here in this setting but Marianne's mastery of the guitar and her incredible voice very quickly put any concern to rest. The songs and the stories flow. Pirate Days makes us believe in Marianne's indomitable spirit, The Levee reveals to us her thoughts on the tragedy of hurricane Katrina. If I Had Wings, Constantinople, The Cuckoo, the variety is delicious and each offering receives our profound appreciation. It is obvious that the audience is hooked. She shyly announces she'll be flying to Ottawa overnight for her nomination at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. The audience is thrilled and genuinely excited for this woman who has already won their votes and their hearts.

There's an intermission, more food and then more fine music. My Mother's Blanket touches many, each in different ways while Train Of Love offers hope to those who need it. By now, we are all one with the music, the stories and the stories within the music. For a brief moment, before the applause, you could hear a pin drop when Marianne finishes Angel In The Snow as we absorb the meaning of that to which we have just listened. All too soon the concert is over. The audience retreats to the upstairs, some to seek more food or a cup of coffee and some to find their way to the door. Marianne is gracious. She joins the crowd, answers questions and bids a fond farewell to people as they leave. One thing is certain. Everyone has just witnessed a very special concert, in a little theatre in a basement. No one will soon forget.”

- Bill Towsley, Home Routes concert presenter, Calgary, AB.
 

Pirate Days –  “Sure wouldn't want to be a singer/songwriter these days. The competition is staggeringly fierce. Can't imagine being as talented as Marianne Girard, who has it all: exceptionally interesting voice, great songwriting talent and who has recorded a disc as impressive as this, with backup from a hot guitar player like Rick Fines among others, and have to try to get the attention of frankly jaded critics like me, who hadn't heard of her before.

It's tough to stand out among the dozens of other well-made discs we get every quarter. Well, I've heard of her now and all I can say is, “Wow!” Not likely to forget about this one. She DOES stand out. Big time! I’m impressed as hell and will be watching this Toronto-based singer’s career with interest from now on. Great Stuff.”

-  Barry Hammond, Penguin Eggs (Canada‘s Folk, Roots & World Magazine)