- 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!"
(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
"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...”
“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
“...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...” “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)