New double album - 22 songs from the hit musical by Lennie Gallant
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Lennie Gallant releases a new album - Searching For Abegweit
Over the past two summers Lennie Gallant and band performed over 85 sold out shows of his runaway theatrical hit Searching For Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant. The show is a musical love letter to Prince Edward Island that stars the artist himself and presents his compositions about the Island alongside comedic stories, poignant tales, and Island legends. The show is presented in a multimedia format that includes a plethora of visual images from island visual artist and sibling Karen Gallant.
Many of these Island themed songs were gathered from the span of Gallant’s expansive career, along with a number of new compositions written specifically for this show. This new album contains all 22 of the musical numbers from the hit production. This recording was made during last summer’s run of Searching For Abegweit, and features Gallant on guitar, harmonica, and bodhran, nephews Jeremy Gallant on keyboards and percussion and Jonathan Gallant on backing vocals, drums, percussion, and mandolin. Rounding out the band is Lennie’s longtime sideman violinist Sean Kemp, and Patricia Richard on bodhran, mandolin, banjo, vocals, and beautifully interpreting Lennie’s francophone songs. Mi’kmaq chanter Hubert Francis, and The Lone Cry Drummers also make guest appearances. The album was produced by Lennie Gallant, recorded by Phillip MacLellan, and mixed by Graeme Campbell. Album graphic design is by Ashley Paynter.
The 22 songs here include "Country Store", "Lord Selkirk’s Land", “Abegweit", "A Day With You In Paradise", "Has Anybody Seen My Skates", and the anthemic, heart-wrenching theme song, "Searching For Abegweit". The album also showcases new arrangements for Lennie classics such as "Island Clay", "Northern Lights", "Tales of the Phantom Ship", "La Tempete", "Back to Rustico" and "Peter’s Dream" . After many years of hearing his most recorded song performed by other artists you can finally hear the author himself performing on his well known PEI rumrunning saga "The Nellie J Banks”.
The reviews and audience response for the Rustico native’s theatrical show made it an Island classic and the ‘must see’ show of the summer. It’s possible that this collection of songs about the Island will now fall in the ‘must hear’ category.
Searching For Abegweit will be available at Back Alley Music, The PEI Brewery Company and online at lenniegallant.com.
Finding the heart
Searching For Abegweit
Review by Nils Ling
Karen Gallant’s art is colourful, stylish, sometimes quirky, occasionally downright eccentric—but comes from a place so solidly rooted in her heart and heritage that its authenticity is never in question.
So it is with her brother Lennie’s music.
The joining of the two in Lennie Gallant’s show Searching for Abegweit, playing this summer at the PEI Brewing Company on Kensington Road, is a feast for the senses. Gallant has always known that while he writes and sings beautifully crafted songs, engaging and audience for an evening requires much more. So throughout his career he has surrounded himself with charismatic performers onstage, almost human settings for the jewels that are his songs.
And while again he shares the stage with extraordinarily talented musicians—fiddler Sean Kemp, singer and multi-instrumentalist Patricia Richard, and nephews Jonathan and Jeremy Gallant on vocals, percussion, and piano—it is Karen’s art that envelopes the music and gives it context and a visual impact that raises this show so far beyond a standard concert. While Lennie sings a rollicking account of the night the community banded together to save his grandmother’s home in Rustico, Karen’s windswept farm homes very literally complete the picture.
The Lennie Gallant musical catalogue goes back decades and includes some of the Island's most iconic songs. Many are here, of course, but they are joined with newer songs that only broaden Gallant’s scope as a writer. And even the familiar songs have refreshing touches.
An example of this is “Island Clay.” This wrenching account of a farm family being torn from the land under the auctioneer's gavel is rendered even more haunting by its re-imagining as a duet with Patricia Richard. The same is true of “Destination”—twenty years after I first heard the long, plaintive wail of the train whistle, carried along by the pulsing beat of two bodhrans, it still makes my heart catch in my throat.
This show is a love letter to Island culture. It incorporates respectful homages to First Nations people, effortlessly blends in Acadian cultural reference, and does all this without pandering or sliding into an eye-roll producing earnestness. Like every other element of this show, it is authentic and artful.
The relocation of the show from the Mack to the Prince Edward Island Brewing Company has had no discernible impact on the show’s creative side. A little out of the way and less familiar to Island audiences, nevertheless the PEI Brewing Company offers some amenities that are a distinct improvement over last year, including a spacious lounge area so audiences can wait in comfort before the doors open. Anyone who has waited on the street in front of The Mack will understand how important that is.
Like every other full time resident of PEI, I’ll have visitors this summer asking, “What's the one show I shouldn’t miss?” Searching for Abegweit is that show, for me—musically sweeping, visually stunning, and authentically Island in every way.
Lennie Gallant’s Abegweit sails again
With 57 sold-out shows in its inaugural Charlottetown Festival run last year, “Searching for Abegweit: the Island Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant” was definitely one of the big success stories of the 2014 Island theatre scene.
Spring-boarding from these heights to now land the show in its brand new home at the P.E.I. Brewing Company in Charlottetown, Gallant sets Abegweit sailing once again this season — showing every Monday,
Tuesday and Wednesday this summer.
Presented within the large and spatially-pliable P.E.I. Brewing Company Culinary Event Space, the show certainly boasts a unique venue as a selling point as most attendees will undoubtedly enjoy revelling in the experience of taking in a night of Island music in a brewery. But the space is also made to look more elegant than one might imagine, complete with chandeliers over welcoming round cabaret-style tables.
Rustic wood framing and oak casks flank the stage, as a huge projector screen is the backdrop for the presentation, where both historical and recent P.E.I. images are displayed throughout the show, along with the compelling song-accompanying paintings by Gallant’s sister, Karen Gallant.
It was last week’s preview that I caught, as the show was unveiled for a crowd that was high in numbers for a preview performance and high in enthusiasm to see the show’s new 2015 incarnation.
“Abegweit, when I hear your lullaby, I know where I belong,” sang Gallant in an impassioned vocal delivery over the strumming of an acoustic guitar as those centrepiece lyrics from one of his engaging Island-
tribute opening numbers seemed to encapsulate the spirit of the show immediately for us.
Backed up by the great accompaniment work by Sean Kemp on violin (who has been at Gallant’s side for over 12 years), his nephews Jonathan Gallant (percussion) and Jeremy Gallant (piano) and, new to the show this year, Patricia Richard on mandolin and vocals, the soundscape was full and vibrant from the get-go and onward throughout the night.
With first-half highlights that included Back to Rustico (the show’s opener), Which Way Does the River Run, Open Window, The Country Store, Lord Selkirk’s Land, Tales of the Phantom Ship and Peter’s Dream, the lineup of songs was evidently stacked with many a Gallant hit — enhanced in most cases by the scenes woven with images on the backdrop and the high-energy live delivery by the quintet of musicians.
What is particularly notable about Searching for Abegweit, though, is one primary notion that threads through all of the show’s musical fabric: love for the Island homeland.
This sentiment is so genuinely, so proudly, so honestly expressed at so many points in the two-hour presentation that the overwhelming feeling with which one inevitably leaves this show is just exactly this: love for P.E.I.
I believe that this aspect, combined with Gallant’s musicality in performance that is still glowing in its top-notch caliber, is a key reason the show fared so well at the box office last summer and why it will most likely succeed in similar ways in its new home this year.
And with a second half that included numbers like Tell Me a Ghost Story, Nellie J. Banks, The Band Played On, and the emotion-driven starring-role song called Searching for Abegweit (which received a standing ovation at its end), the show was simply an Island heart-soaring delight to take in.
“Searching for Abegweit: the Island Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant” plays each week through to the end of August. For tickets, visit www.peibrewingcompany.com or call 902-629-2739.
Searching for Abegweit: the Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant returns this summer!
The hit show of last season - 57 sold out shows!!
Lennie will be re-mounting his acclaimed musical theatre show, Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant, for audiences in PEI this summer. A runaway hitboasting 57 sold out shows as part of last summer’s Charlottetown Festival, this year’s production is presented by PEI Brewing Company and will be staged at the PEI Brewing Company Culinary Event Space in Charlottetown every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during July and August 2015. Tickets areon sale now at www.peibrewingcompany.com and by phone at 902-629-2739.
Woven around the music of the award winning Island songwriter, this P.E.I. love-letter stars Gallant himself, and presents his folk, rootsand pop music, alongside comedic stories, Island legends, and poignant tales in a multimedia format that utilizes film, and visual works from well-known painter Karen Gallant. This dynamic, energetic show is storytelling at its best and includes Acadian and Celtic numbers that will have you dancing in your seat in celebration of Canada’s cradle on the waves.Tthe colourful spectacle will offer Lennie Gallant favourites such as ‘Peter’s Dream’ ‘Tales of the Phantom Ship’ and ‘Island Clay’ along with new Island-themed songs.
“I am so looking forward to putting on Searching For Abegweit again this summer,” said Lennie Gallant. “The response we had last season was beyond my hopes; we had many requests to run it again, both from folks who missed it, and from those who want to come back. I am very impressed with how the PEI Brewing Company space can be transformed into an elegant theatre setting and I know we are going to have a lot of fun with the show. The band is pumpedand getting ready, and we have the wonderful Patricia Richard (Come All Ye, Ode à L' Acadie) on board with us this year so we are planning to take this show to the next level!”
P.E.I. singer-songwriter enjoys ‘truly amazing’ year
Published on January 09, 2015
A well-received live record, a highly successful new musical at the Charlottetown Festival and a new book project with his visual artist sibling Karen Gallant helped make 2014 a very good year for singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant.
“Career-wise, 2014 was a truly amazing year for me, a very busy year,” Gallant said in a recent year-end interview.
The success of Searching For Abegweit, his first full-fledged foray into musical theatre, was particularly gratifying because he wasn’t sure how it would go over. The show played 57 nights and almost from day one played to sold-out shows.
“I was extremely pleased because before the show started I remember lying in bed and thinking ‘maybe I’m out of mind, I’m doing 50-plus shows here in P.E.I. in the summer where I usually do three.’ I was really wondering if people were going to come out.”
Gallant said the period just before the show opened was one of the craziest periods of his career.
“I was writing and rehearsing the show at the same time that I was mixing the live album and at the same time that I was
producing a new Christmas song, I Still Believe In
Santa, for a feature film called Santa Quest.”
Publishing Peter’s Dream, a book which pairs his songs with the paintings of his sister, Karen, proved to be another major highlight of the year.
“The book is something my sister Karen and I talked about doing for many years. Searching For Abegweit was really the catalyst, the kick in the pants that made us sit down and do it. I’m really happy that we did because it has received tremendous response. We’ve just about sold out the first printing and will have to go to print again.”
One of the coolest things about the book, he believes, is that someone looking at it who didn’t know the story behind it might wonder if the paintings were done for the songs or if the songs were written about the paintings.
“The reality is that there are only three songs that Karen did a painting for. The rest of them match up so well just by happenstance. I’m sure it has something to do with the way siblings create, the way they view life.”
He noted, for example, that both he and Karen like to touch in their respective work on a wide range of experiences and a wide range of emotions.
With the show and the book launch behind him Gallant now wants to return to the studio.
“I’m overdue for a new studio album.”
Gallant said he’s also got the theatre bug now and wants to do more in that area. And that could happen. Interest has been expressed in seeing Searching for Abegweit tour.
AT A GLANCE
Highs and lows
Singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant says he has enough new material written to go into the recording studio tomorrow. In fact, he says he has enough material to record two albums. But he’s not content with drawing solely from that selection of material.
“I’m never happy with that,” Gallant said. “I always find that when it’s time to go into the studio I want to have some brand new songs that express the way that I’m writing at this moment and the way I feel about things at this moment. I usually have a lot of songs kicking around that people haven’t heard yet but I’m getting the bug to sit down and write so I will have fresh material for the studio.”
While this was a very good year for Lennie Gallant’s career it was a very difficult year personally for him and his family because of the death of his sister, Catherine Anne.
“It’s been a grounding year and a tough year for my family. She was an amazing person, really beloved by so many people. I know a lot of people who go through life and make some pretty good friends but my sister amazed me because she would meet people and immediately make such a strong connection.”
Gallant says in many ways his song, Abegweit, was inspired by her.
“It’s all about coming home. In many ways, that song was for her. I know I saw her many times in that song when I sang it last summer, but I didn’t say anything.”
Live Acoustic at The Carleton made the top 10 albums of 2014 in the Canadian Roots magazine Penguin Eggs.
Lennie Gallant earns Canadian Folk Music Award
The Guardian - Published on December 01, 2014
© Photo special to The Guardian by Ryan Lindsey Lennie Gallant was honoured with the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for artist of the year on Saturday, Nov. 29 during the Canadian Folk Music Awards gala.
Prince Edward Island's Lennie Gallant was honoured with the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for artist of the year for his latest recording, Live Acoustic at The Carleton, during an awards gala in Ottawa Saturday.
Gallant performed two songs from the new album at the CFMA gala, held at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa, and wrapped up the weekend festivities with his own sold out show at The Blacksheep Inn, in nearby Wakefield, Que.
Gallant has just completed a 24-date album release tour through the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec and is also celebrating the launch of a new book titled Peter’s Dream – a collaboration with visual artist and sibling, Karen Gallant. All of this comes hot on the heels of his summer–long run at Charlottetown’s Mack Theatre with his show, Searching For Abegweit -The Island Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant, which was extended to 57 soldout shows.
Gallant’s new album, Live Acoustic at The Carleton, contains 16 live tracks — a combination of brand new songs and fresh takes on familiar favourites from his impressive back catalogue.
New songs include Has Anybody Seen My Skates, God’s Reply, Amelia, inspired by Amelia Earhart (co-written with Liam Titcomb) and Abegweit, which was written for the show Searching for Abegweitl. The album also includes fan favourites such as Peter’s Dream, Mademoiselle, Laisse aller, and rocking versions of 47 Angels on Her Front Lawn, Tales of The Phantom Ship and Tell Me A Ghost Story, among others. Live Acoustic at The Carleton is Gallant's 10th full-length recording and was captured over two nights in the award-winning songwriter music club, The Carleton in Halifax.
Gallant will cap off this year with a special guest performance with The Barra MacNeils on Saturday, Dec. 13 at Toronto’s prestigious Massey Hall.
Lennie Gallant performed on CTV Canada AM on Friday, November 28. You can watch by going to the AM Soundstage videos - click here!
Thu, Oct 23, 2014.
Lennie Gallant brings new CD, book release shows to N.B.
CBC East Coast Music with Bob Mersereau
I saw Lennie Gallant in concert this past summer in Charlottetown, in an intimate theatre setting, and was greatly impressed. I've always loved Lennie's song writing, and over the past quarter-century, he has built up a catalogue that ranks with the best Canadian artists. Plus, he's been doing that in both French and English, with his fan base anchored in both linguistic communities, a rare feat there as well. What struck me most about the show this summer was the renewed excitement he brought to the stage. Playing with his new band, made up of young performers including a couple of his nephews, Gallant was energized and in touch with his songs, happy to share them with the crowd.
The show this summer was part of the Charlottetown Festival's theatrical series, a themed performance called Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant. It was a celebration of the history of P.E.I., something Gallant could easily do given his many songs about the Island and the Maritimes. Now, he's on tour with his regular show, but of course it features most of the same songs, so I'm expecting the same enjoyment for his current tour that comes to New Brunswick Thursday, Oct. 23, with shows in Saint John, Fredericton and Riverview. It's actually a double-barrelled release concert, as Gallant is promoting two new projects. First, there's his latest album, called Live Acoustic at the Carleton. It's a live disc recently recorded at Halifax's top music venue, The Carleton Restaurant. It features many of his favourites, in the new semi-acoustic arrangements his current band has worked up, with fiddle, percussion and keyboards. Then there's a brand-new book, called Peter's Dream. It features Gallant's songs, and the colourful, folk art-styled paintings of his sister, Karen Gallant. The Rustico-born pair each have their own deep connection to P.E.I. and the Maritimes, especially the rural life that still exists with its roots going back centuries. I'm no sales expert, but what a great combo Christmas present, the book and the CD.
Oct 15, 2015
Lennie Gallant embarks on N.S. tour after successful P.E.I. summer
The Chronicle Herald
STEPHEN COOKE ARTS REPORTER
Although he lives in Halifax, Lennie Gallant will always call Prince Edward Island home.
The dilemma of being a busy singer-songwriter is that he doesn’t get to spend enough time in the place that inspires so much of his music, but he’s heading into a fall Maritime CD release tour with the afterglow of his most Island-centric summer in decades.
The solution was to come up with a way to keep himself busy in P.E.I. for three months while resisting the siren call of Canada’s many folk festivals, and it came courtesy of the Charlottetown Festival, which presented 57 sold-out shows of Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant at the Mackenzie Theatre.
The title came from the Mi’kmaq name for the island, meaning “cradled on the waves.”
With the show, he could enjoy summer ocean breezes by day and entertain fans from all over by night, without having to drive hundreds of kilometres to do it.
“I thought I’d plunk myself down in a theatre, have a show, and let them come to me,” Gallant says over a hot cup at Chebucto Coffee.
“That was my plan, but it didn’t really work that way. The shows were sold out, but it was mainly Islanders, which was a surprise to me. The word got around, I guess, and it was Islanders who were able to get their tickets in advance because there was a good buzz about it.
“It pleased me to no end, you know. I must have hit a chord somewhere that hit a chord for everyone.”
Gallant is back on the road starting Saturday at the Chester Playhouse, beginning a circuit that takes him through Liverpool, Yarmouth, Halifax, Truro and Sydney, where fans can hear him with the lineup that appears on his new release, Live Acoustic at the Carleton, including fiddler Anthony Rissesco and nephews Jeremy Gallant on keyboards and Jonathan Gallant on percussion.
There was also some family involvement in Searching for Abegweit, which featured a vivid backdrop in the form of colourful paintings by his sister, Karen, depicting warm, round-edged portraits of island life.
“I think her work is brilliant and unique; anyone who knows it is a big fan,” says Gallant.
“It’s kind of funny because I tell her she needs to stop selling her paintings out of her studio, and the general public is not getting a sense of it. She needs to put a collection together and do gallery shows, but when you’re an artist trying to make a living and people come by your studio and want to buy your paintings, it’s hard to say no.”
Now fans of both Gallants can have a record of their collaboration in the form of the new book Peter’s Dream, which matches Karen’s paintings with Lennie’s lyrics.
In a sense, Peter’s Dream is a companion piece to the show, but there are plenty of songs in the book that weren’t sung in Searching for Abegweit.
“These pieces were all created independently of each other, but in many cases it almost looks like the painting was done for the song,” explains Gallant, who thought he had a pretty good grasp of his sister’s work until they started these two projects.
“When we were putting together the show — there’s far more paintings used in the show than there are in the book — I would say, ‘Now I want ALL the paintings,’ and she’d send me images from 200 or so paintings. But then I’d be at a friend’s place and see one of her paintings I hadn’t seen before, and I’d have to ask again for all of the paintings, and she’d send me another 25.
“Then I’d rearrange the images I had for the show, and I’d go back to her and say that I needed something ghostly, and she’d send me another 25, and again I’d have to ask her for ALL the paintings.”
With his new book and CD ready for the public, Gallant will spend November on an Ontario tour centred around a performance Nov. 29 in Ottawa at the Canadian Folk Music Awards gala, where he’s up for English songwriter and solo artist of the year, finishing with Christmas With the Barra MacNeils at Massey Hall in Toronto.
He’ll also be among esteemed company as one of the participants in a new book from P.E.I. writer and editor Todd MacLean titled Global Chorus, 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet, with words of wisdom from David Suzuki to the Dalai Lama.
“That’s totally all about where have we been and where are we going, and so many people are talking about that kind of thing, getting back to the way First Nations people had knowledge of and respect for the whole cycle of life and death and how we fit into the world around us,” says Gallant, who addresses these issues in two songs written for his summer show, Abegweit and Searching for Abegweit.
The former tune appears on Live Acoustic at The Carleton, along with other newer songs like Has Anybody Seen My Skates? and Amelia (for Amelia Earhart) and longtime favourites like Pieces of You and The Band’s Still Playing.
After previously releasing a live set recorded with Halifax pop-rock trio MIR, this time around Gallant wanted an album reflecting what his songs sound like on the stage these days, with a more intimate setup.
But intimate and acoustic don’t necessarily mean subdued.
“I totally get charged by an audience, and if they’re right with you and on board with what you’re trying to convey, you get that energy from them and give more back, and you just get recharged,” he says.
“Some of the shows can really take off. This summer there’d always be those shows where things really took off, and I think, ‘Man, I wish we’d recorded this.’”
Oct 15, 2014
CTV Morning Live
Lennie performs "Tell Me A Ghost Sory" - click here to watch!
Sept 24, 2014
Canadian Folk Music Award Nominations!
Lennie Gallant was nominated for Solo Artist of the Year and English Songwriter of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for his new release - Live Acoustic at The Carleton.
Lennie will perform at the 10th Anniversary Awards Gala being held on Saturday, November 29 at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. For more information and tickets to the Gala, please visit: www./folkawards.ca
Sept 15, 2014
"I Still Believe in Santa"
Lennie Gallant wrote and performed the theme song "I Still Believe in Santa" for Santa Quest - a feature documentary that follows John Dunsworth’s journey to bring home the gold for Canada at the Santa Winter Games in Sweden
Santa Quest and the music video "I Still Believe in Santa" (featuring Lennie Gallant and John Dunsworth) had it's world premiere at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday, September 13.
For more information on Santa Quest, please visit www.facebook.com/SantaQuestMovie
August 25, 2014
Review: Gallant Finds the Soul of the Island
Photo credit: pixbylorne
It sounds like a daunting task: “Searching for Abegweit”. But in a wonderful theatrical concert show playing at the Mackenzie Theatre all summer, Lennie Gallant leads audiences in a magical voyage of discovery through his enduring music, engaging stories, and enchanting multi-media elements. The result: more than simply an evening of terrific entertainment (although it certainly was that!); this is a journey into the heart and soul of Prince Edward Island.
Over the past quarter of a century, I've probably seen Lennie Gallant perform more than 50 times, in venues as varied as a pub in North Rustico, the Mainstage at Confederation Centre of the Arts, festivals, studio sessions, house parties. So as I took my seat at the Mack I thought I knew what I was in for.
I was wrong.
I was expecting a night of great music – and of course, Lennie Gallant delivered. His body of work is astonishingly broad and textured – timeless ballads, rousing songs of protest against the destruction of the fishing industry, snapshots of life in Prince Edward Island. But “Searching for Abegweit” is so much more than a concert.
We can start with the work of director Jac Gautreau, a brilliant choice to realize the creative vision of the show. Gautreau wove together visual and aural treasures that complement and illuminate the music. A key element of the multi-media presentation were rear projections of the sometimes dramatic, sometimes whimsical art of Lennie's sister Karen Gallant. In the same way that “blood harmonies” sound closer and more attuned than other harmonies, one couldn't help but feel the genetic connection between the visual artist and the musician. It just felt ... right, ya know?
There were other elements: video pieces and recorded segments that were incorporated seamlessly into the show - Mi'k Maq chants, vintage photographs, video footage, all of it adding context and structure to the music. So often, homage to other cultural traditions can feel forced, overly earnest, almost pandering to the ideal of acceptance. There was none of that here. Other culture were respected, honoured – but there was no hint of patronage.
The music was everything you'd expect from one of Canada's foremost songwriters, and much more. Gallant and Gautreau made the bold decision to add a strong feminine voice to his compositions. Enter Caroline Bernard, whose soaring harmonies and lead parts added an entire new dimension to already iconic Island songs like “Island Clay” and “Peter's Dream”. A highlight of the evening was “Destination” - Bernard weaving in and around Gallant's narrative of a train trip across Canada. The addition of her solid accordion and vocal work and engaging stage presence through the evening created something far greater than the sum of its parts.
The other members of the supporting cast were pretty much perfect in their roles. The muscular and yet precise fiddling of Sean Kemp and the endearing goofy gawkiness (and musically spot on playing) of Gallant's nephews Jonathan and Jeremy created a solid musical ensemble. This allowed Gallant to explore the fun – and subtleties – of his wonderful body of work. Songs like “Northern Lights” have never sounded more exquisite.
Through the evening, Gallant wove in anecdotes and stories that brought out the humour and charm of life in small town Prince Edward Island. Lennie Gallant is not an in-your-face, dynamic, tour de force kind of entertainer. His personality onstage is muted, charming, self-deprecating ... Canadian. And it matches his music beautifully.
If there is one “must-see” show on the calendar this summer, I'm picking this one. I'm going to go back, probably a few times. It is a lovely way to introduce visitors from away to the heart of Prince Edward Island. And for those of us who live here, it is a way to reaffirm our enduring love for this place and remember just why it is so special.
Due to popular demand Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant has been extended for select dates in the first two weeks of September visit www.charlottetownfestival.com for more information.
Nils Ling is an author, a humorist, filmmaker, not to mention a bounder, a cad, and a ne'er-do-well who lives and works in (on?) Prince Edward Island Canada.
CBC East Coast Music with Bob Mersereau
Music Review: Lennie Gallant - Live Acoustic
at The Carleton
Jul 13, 2014
Here's Lennie in the best possible setting, an intimate club. This is the second album recorded in the East Coast's best club, The Carleton in Halifax, after David Myles' live one from 2011, and it has the same spark that award-winner did. The excitement of the audience, and in return the enthusiasm of the musicians is easy to hear on the recording. It's a very confident set, over an hour long, with both long-time favourites and brand-new material, and the crowd is just as keen to hear the new ones as the hits.
Gallant's current touring group is a small acoustic crew, with Lennie on guitar and harmonica, Anthony Rissesco on violin, and two of Gallant's nephews, brothers Jeremy playing keyboards and Jonathan on percussion. I prefer this combo to a full band, as it lets Gallant play the storyteller, and doesn't overwhelm the lyrics. And when they want, they can still party hard, especially on some of the Acadian numbers. Gallant (the elder) is obviously enjoying the young energy the others bring as well, and he really seems to be commanding the stage with this show.
That bodes well for his new theatre show that has just begun in Charlottetown, Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant. He and the same band star in that, and although it has much more spoken-word and thematic material, several of the songs featured show up on this set. Those include the new number Abegweit, written about the Mi'kmaq name for P.E.I., and the legend that it was Glooscap's pillow. Also from the show is his Tales of The Phantom Ship, a ghost story about a ship on fire that sales the Northumberland Strait. Gallant has his own style of folk music, whether they feature historical tales (such as the Titanic number The Band's Still Playing) or fantasy songs (Tell Me A Ghost Story), where he rocks them up and makes them lively and exciting. It's easy to fall for these stories when you're having such a good time learning them.
So far, so much fun, but he has some heartache and some tear-inducing ones held back for the right moment. Peter's Dream appears, its tale of what happens to a fishing family when the industry fails still as powerful today, with its brilliant Biblical metaphor. That's followed by another favourite, Pieces Of You, a great lyric about lost love. The show wraps up with Mademoiselle (voulez-vouz danser), its warmth and charm a lovely way to go into the night. This is the set Gallant needed to remind us all of the strength of his writing, and his powerful performance style.
Lennie Gallant in ‘fine form’ on new CD
Doug Gallant - The Guardian
July 5, 2014
Lennie Gallant: Live Acoustic At The Carleton features a mix of fan favourites and new tunes
Timing is everything. That is perhaps one of the most over utilized expressions in the English language.
But there are times when it still seems appropriate.
This is one of them.
In the last 30-odd days, singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant has published a new book, released a new record and launched a new musical at the Charlottetown Festival.
Could he possibly have timed things any better?
He now has a book, a show and a record that can cross-promote each other.
And happily all three are worth promoting.
The book is worth reading, the record is worth hearing and the show is worth seeing.
For the purposes of this column, however, I’ll stick to the record.
Lennie Gallant: Live Acoustic At The Carleton was recorded at my favourite Halifax watering hole, The Carleton, on Argyle Street, one of the best venues on the East Coast to hear singer-songwriters like Gallant, Dave Gunning, Don Brownrigg and Thom Swift.
Recorded over the space of two nights, the record features some 16 songs, many of them fan favourites of longstanding like Peter’s Dream, Tales Of The Phantom Ship, The Band’s Still Playing, Tell Me A Ghost Story and Mademoiselle.
But the record also boasts several new offerings, one of which, Abegweit, was written specifically for the musical, Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant, which is playing five nights a week until the end of August at The Mack.
Other new entries featured here include an absolutely beautiful piece called God’s Reply, which he co-wrote with John Wiggins, and Amelia, a haunting ode to flyer Amelia Earhart, which he co-wrote with Liam Titcomb.
There’s also a version of Has Anybody Seen My Skates, a great song about Canada’s national obsession that Gallant debuted during a special concert at the Confederation Centre for National Hockey Day.
Gallant was in truly fine form for these shows at The Carleton. His voice has seldom sounded better and his guitars got a serious workout because he was the only guitar player for those shows. Nice harmonica work, too.
He was more than ably supported by violinist Anthony Rissesco and two of his own nephews, keyboard player Jeremy Gallant and percussionist Jonathan Gallant, both of whom are also playing with him at The Mack.
All three contributed backing vocals.
There’s also a special guest vocalist on the record. The voice of Mi’kmaq singer Hubert Francis can be heard on Abegweit.
What’s missing from the record are several of the stories Gallant told his audiences during those shows. But you can hear them, too, by going to Gallant’s website at http://www.lenniegallant.com/.
Most of the songs that appear on this record are also featured in his show at The Mack so if you like the record, see the show. Conversely, if you like the show, buy the record.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Doug Gallant, a reporter with The Guardian, writes his music review column for The Guardian every week. He welcomes comments from readers at email@example.com or 629-6000, ext. 6057.
July 2, 2014
REVIEW: Lennie Gallant’s Abegweit a journey well worth taking
The Guardian - Published on July 02, 2014
© Photo special to The Guardian by Louise Vessey Lennie Gallant, right, performs in a scene from Searching For Abegweit, which has opened at The Mack in Charlottetown. With him are Jonathan Gallant, left, and Sean Kemp. The show plays all summer.Searching For Abegweit: The Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant plays at The Mack until Aug. 29
Lennie, Lennie, Lennie.
Outside of Roger Younker, Lennie Gallant may’ve been the first Island name I associated with bonafide stardom. His breakout into international attention in the 1980s, however, has never clouded that connection to his home province. In fact, he has made it his career-long pursuit to explore these roots, and the varied histories of all of our Island’s population.
Searching for Abegweit: The Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant is a journey through some of his most prized Island-inspired songs.
In low blues and purples, we are welcomed with a sort of dreamy, minor key medley of familiar melody lines from Lennie’s songs. From there, the show plays out just as the title suggests, as Lennie regales us with anecdotes and memories.
Between his polished, punchy songs, he humbly recounts the people and the moments that have informed his catalogue.
Song, story, song, story, it’s a comfy format to be sure.
Though in recent years, I’ve seen it become a bit of a trap (and a minor peeve of mine) for upcoming singer-songwriters to meander with inter-song banter that often outweighs the depth of their songs. A sort of cart before the horse thing, perhaps tilted by too much focus on becoming a professional musician, and not enough honest introspection.
But this is clearly never the case with Lennie. He’s time tested as the real deal, and his empathy and passion for the stories he tells radiates.
Certainly the songs have a life of their own, having been covered by many other musicians, but Lennie delivers them with that unmistakable voice.
His lines sit waiting to pounce with a breathy compressed, edgy vowel sound. Then a dry lilt. Then a quick percussive shuffle in his chest as he skips through syllables.
He can be soulfully lost in the words, or, true to his Acadian blood, add a certain playfulness to his presentation.
Throughout, Karen Gallant’s haunting, whimsical, ethereal paintings are projected behind the performers.
For years, her work has turned my head but I’d never connected the family dots.
The weathered trees, the stoic faces, the vibrant palette; it’s a thoughtful backdrop for her brother’s songs.
And it makes the show not just an appreciation of song, but of all expression of story through art.
Director Jac Gautreau is also the production designer behind this multi-media element.
Family connections fill the stage. Lennie’s nephew, Jonathan Gallant, is the young pup on the kit.
He’s composed and tasteful, and even takes a turn on lead vocals. Another nephew, Jeremy Gallant, masters the keys.
I’m convinced he is possessed by the music. His distinct flourishes can be raw or delicate, but always with a soft bed for the songs.
It’s refreshing to see a musician of Lennie’s pedigree and experience, at this point in his career, not just hiring old, bored studio pros.
The earnest energy his bandmates bring to the stage is key.
Also under the lights, Sean Kemp, who has been deftly slinging the f-holes beside Lennie for 10 years now, is a bit more classical than roots.
That is to say, he plays more violin than fiddle. Constant plucks and accents decorate the compositions before he summons the climaxes with roaring swells.
And you’ll likely recognize Caroline Bernard’s friendly face from the two summer Come-All-Ye runs. She was swaying on the squeeze box, and provided smooth back-up vocals.
A few of Lennie’s songs have stuck with me over the years only to pop into my brain when I’m doing an otherwise mundane task. Peter’s Dream, of course, is a Canadian classic. And, whether you’re a Lenniehead or not, I definitely recommend Tell Me a Ghost Story.
More rare than an aurora borealis, for this summer only, if you time it right, likely around 9:15ish, you can stand on Grafton Street and have the faint melodies of Lennie playing to you from both Confederation Centre stages.
Lennie MacPherson, a Charlottetown-based writer, actor and musician, writes theatre reviews for The Guardian during the summer months. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lennie Gallant releases his tenth album!
Live Acoustic at the Carleton
The album contains 16 live tracks, a combination of brand new songs and familiar favourites. New songs include "Has Anybody Seen My Skates", which premiered on Hockey Day in Canada, "God's Reply", "Amelia", written for Amelia Earhart (co-written with Liam Titcomb) and "Abegweit", which was written for his show Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant, that he himself will star in! The album also includes fan favourites such as "Peter's Dream", "Mademoiselle", "Laisse aller", and rockin versions of "47 Angels on Her Front Lawn, "Tales of The Phantom Ship" and "Tell Me A Ghost Story". The album was recorded over 2 nights in an intimate atmosphere in the award winning songwriter music club - The Carleton in Halifax.
June 20, 2014
Lennie Gallant comes home for the summer
© Guardian photo by Sally Cole Company members meet with director Jac Gautreau, left, during a break in rehearsals for Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant. With Jac Gautreau from left are Caroline Bernard, Lennie Gallant and Sean Kempt. Missing from photo are Jonathan and Jeremy Gallant.
After performing in festivals and concerts, singer-songwriter thrilled to be back in P.E.I. for the summer performing at the Charlottetown Festival
Lennie Gallant is an award-winning singer-songwriter.
And, this summer, he’s realizing a dream.
After more than three decades of playing concerts and festivals across Canada, the United States and beyond, he’s performing his own show at the Charlottetown Festival.
“When I was a kid, starting to play music, it was a dream of mine to someday get on that stage and sing a few songs. So now, doing my own show, connected with the Confederation Centre of the Arts, means a lot to me,” says the creator of Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant, which plays selected dates from June 26 to Aug. 30 at The Mack in Charlottetown at 7:30 p.m.
The Rustico native is also happy about spending the season with his family and friends in Canada’s smallest province.
“Every summer I’m on the road, travelling everywhere. And I often miss so much of the summer on P.E.I. So doing the show here is a nice little side benefit.”
Gallant’s dream was fuelled by his realization that, in the process of recording 10 albums, as well as doing other projects, he had written many songs about Prince Edward Island.
“I wanted to gather all of them together, under one umbrella, and do something special with them,” says Gallant who put pen to paper and wrote a script, introducing each song and weaving in personal stories and Island legends.
When he presented it at the Confederation Centre, he received a positive response from the former associate artistic director.
“Wade Lynch got very excited about it. And he was one of the champions of putting it on stage,” says Gallant, adding that the director, Jac Gautreau, also played a supportive role.
By the time rehearsals started this spring, much of the work was already in place.
“That’s because Lennie and I had lots of conversations and Lennie had conversations with Wade Lynch during the creative process,” says Gautreau.
The colourful multimedia show, which features the artwork of Karen Gallant, will offer Gallant favourites including Island Clay, The Open Window, Back to Rustico and Tales of the Phantom Ship, along with other new Island-themed songs from Gallant’s new album, Abegweit.
“Everbody loves these songs and they all have a reason to be there but, on the other hand, we’re trying to be respectful of the time that people have,” says Gautreau.
One of the new songs is The Night We Moved the House. He co-wrote it with his nephew, Rowan Gallant of Ten Strings and a Goat Skin.
When Gallant’s great-great-grandfather died, an unscrupulous character in the community of Rustico discovered that the house the deceased and his wife had lived in was actually on the edge of his land.
“So he tried to claim the house and kick out my great-great-grandmother, a widow. But, when the community found out, they wouldn’t stand for it.
“So, in the middle of a cold winter’s night, they all showed up and literally picked up the house and moved
Lennie Gallant and sister Karen Gallant release a brand new exciting book!
Songs by Lennie Gallant
Paintings by Karen Gallant
Lennie Gallant and visual artist Karen Gallant are brother and sister who grew up in Rustico, Prince Edward Island. They were influenced by their surroundings in similar and profound ways, yet chose to channel their creativity through different media. Lennie and Karen have long dreamed of working together on a project and this wonderful book is the result. Peter’s Dream is an opportunity for you to experience their respective visions through exciting pairings of lyric and image that will pull you into new worlds rich in drama, pathos, and celebration-- as well as a healthy dose of East Coast lore. Rendered by two powerful and perceptive storytellers, these works were created over a lifetime of independent craftsmanship, but while preparing this book, both artists discovered that they have been unknowingly collaborating all along! Prepare to be moved and inspired by these talented siblings, now realizing their shared dream. To learn more about Karen Gallant and her works, please visit www.karengallant.com
June 2, 2014
P.E.I. pictures from the past
Published on June 02, 2014
Lennie Gallant is seeking input from Prince Edward Islanders for his new show.
© SUBMITTED PHOTO This is A.P. Gallant's store in Rustico, circa 1930. Singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant, the owner's grandson, is looking for similar photographs of stores from across the Island to be used in his new show at the Charlottetown Festival this summer. Entitled Searching for Abegweit: The Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant, it runs June 26 to Aug. 29
The award-winning singer-songwriter is asking people to send him photographs of their favourite corner store to be used in Searching for Abegweit: The Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant. The show runs June 26 to Aug. 29 at The Mack in Charlottetown.
"I've written a new song about country stores in villages across the Island and how, in so many cases, they are the heart of the community," says Gallant during a telephone interview. "It's a song that's important to me because my granddad built the country store in Rustico in the 1930s. It was such a hub for the community. And there are so many stories that came out of there."
The show has a multimedia component. And the country store images received will be shown on large screens when he sings the new song.
"I'm hoping to represent as many communities as we can. So I'm looking for old photos or new, colour or black and white."
Anyone with such an image is asked to take a digital photo of it, without glare, and send it to email@example.com.
"I'm hoping Islanders will give me a hand by sending me a photo of a village or country store in their community.
"It could be as easy as taking the picture with your iPhone and sending it to us."
Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant
Searching for Abegweit
Show at The Mack features Lennie Gallant and his songs
opens June 28 (preview 26 & 27)
The Buzz - June 2014
The new musical hybrid, Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant stars the songwriter himself, weaving celebrated roots and folk music among comedic stories, Island legends, multimedia film and artwork from visual artist and sibling, Karen Gallant. Premiering June 26, Searching for Abegweit features Gallant favourites such as Peters Dream, Tales of the Phantom Ship, and Island Clay among new Island-themed songs.
“Over the course of my career I have written many songs about this island I love so much,” says Gallant. “2014 seems like the perfect time to showcase all things PEI, so I am thrilled to be presenting this show in collaboration with Confederation Centre.”
“All Islanders feel very strongly about this beautiful corner of the world,” continues the Rustico native. ”I have tried to reflect some of that beauty through these songs of struggle, celebration, legend, and love. It is my hope that this patchwork quilt will have you laughing, singing, shedding a tear, and maybe even dancing with us as we go ‘Searching for Abegweit’—that elusive thing that makes this place so special for Islanders and those who come to discover it.”
Searching for Abegweit features musical accompaniment from PEI’s Caroline Bernard (Come-All-Ye, Les Girls), and Gallant’s nephews Jeremy and Jonathan Gallant. Long-time musical cohort, fiddler Sean Kemp rounds out the ensemble, and two-time Gemini-award-winner, Jac Gautreau (ECMA TV broadcasts; Atlantic Canada House programming at the 2010 Olympics) is the production’s director. Wade Lynch, the Centre’s former associate artistic director, was creative consultant on the project.
“These songs and stories are augmented by the rich and colorful paintings of Karen Gallant,” states Gautreau. “Her works, like her brother Lennie’s, share a deep understanding of Island life and mythology and I cannot imagine a more perfect visual companion for these songs.”
Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant, is sponsored by Scotiabank, and is a part of The 2014 Charlottetown Festival. It previews on June 26 and 27 and makes its world premiere at The Mack on June 28.
Tickets on sale now - click here!
Nov 8, 2013
We have added a second show at The Carleton!
A second show has been added on Wednesday, Nov 20 in Halifax. Tickets are on sale for Tuesday Nov 19 and Wednesday Nov 20 and are available by phone 902-422-6335 or online at www.thecarleton.ca.
Nov 8, 2013
Lennie on Q with Jian Ghomeshi
Q hits the road for a special show at Charlottetown's Confederation Centre, which was recorded last night in front an audience. Lennie sits down with Jian to talk about PEI.
Oct 30, 2013
Lennie Gallant featured in Harrowsmith's Truly Canadian Almanac
Oct 25, 2013
Sensational season opener for P.E.I Symphony
The Guardian - Todd MacLean
Published on October 25, 2013
Photo: Darrell Theriault
It was such a treat to then see the smiling face of 15-time ECMA winning/three-time Juno Award winning/pride of P.E.I. Lennie Gallant — as his two nephews, Jeremy and Jonathan Gallant (on piano and cajón drum) were already poised to play alongside the orchestra — and as he walked out to the stage with Maestro Shapiro to begin the second half.
Beginning with Which Way Does the River Run, what a sound it was that surged around him, as the orchestra grew in chordal swells to powerfully accompany Gallant’s 1994 hit that began his nine-song set that afternoon.
Continuing with well-arranged songs like Emily’s Letters, La Tempete, a new song called God’s Reply, Life Line, and of course Peter’s Dream (which was thoroughly spine-chilling) and The Band’s Still Playing (which completely rocked the house), Gallant, his nephews, and the P.E.I. Symphony Orchestra were a well-oiled machine of music.
And after an exuberant standing ovation by the audience, and an encore
of the heart-string-tugging lament for the family farm, Island Clay, Gallant
sent us home well-soothed, full of contemplation, and truly marveling, evermore,
at the remarkable gifts of his musicianship
June 14, 2013
The Guardian: Family affair
Award-winning P.E.I. singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant produces first CD for his nephews’ band, Ten Strings & a Goat Skin
Singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant, second left, was the special guest of Ten Strings & a Goat Skin during the band’s CD launch at the Old Triangle. It was one of two Charlottetown launches. The other took place at the Carrefour Theatre. From left are Rowen Gallant, Caleb Gallant and Jesse Périard.
When members of Ten Strings & a Goat Skin decided to record their first CD, they didn’t have far to go to find a producer.
Brothers Caleb and Rowen Gallant simply asked their uncle, an award-winning P.E.I. singer-songwriter.
“Lennie Gallant is very well known, and he has lots of experience with traditional music. Also, he’s family, and so logistically it made sense. He was there to support us all the way through. So it was wonderful to be able to include him on the album,” says Rowen, who is the violinist/vocalist for the group that also includes Caleb on vocals and bodhran and Jesse Périard, vocals, guitar.
Gallant was thrilled to be invited.
“After playing in Celtic bands like Speed the Plough, I was familiar with the style of music that the boys play,” he says.
Gallant had also seen them progress.
“I have watched Rowen, Caleb and Jesse’s musical journey over the last few years and I am impressed with how far they came in such a short period of time. There is true character in their playing, writing and overall sound that often takes years for a band to discover,” says Gallant who also knew the challenges awaiting them during their first visit to a recording studio.
“Both they and I felt they wanted someone who understood what they were trying to achieve and take care in getting them there.
I have enough studio experience now that I knew how to bring them into the studio environment yet retain that live sound and get the precision without losing the innate energy, which was the point,” he says.
Caleb says it was a learning curve.
“It was really hard working in the studio. But it allowed us to refine our music and make it better than we could on our own. I’m just really happy with the way that it came out. Working with Lennie was fantastic,” he says.
The result of their musical collaboration is Corbeau, a 12-track CD. Recorded at Sonic Temple in Halifax, it includes everything from traditional fiddle tunes like The Box Reels and Farewell to Uiki to traditional songs like The Gray Funnel Line, as well as their own compositions.
For instance, Jesse, Caleb and Rowen co-wrote the lively instrumental, Kick the Crow, while Rowen and Gallant co-wrote The Night They Moved the House.
“It’s a legend from our great-great-great-grandmother, a widow. Shortly after her husband died, she was on the verge of losing her property and her house, due to a deal gone sour (from dealings with) a nefarious character. So one night, the community of Rustico came together and moved her house across the ice to a different property, to allow her to keep the home. After that it was moved a second time. Now my uncle lives in a house that contains part of her house,” says Rowen, who appreciated his uncle’s help in penning the song.
“I am not an experienced songwriter so Lennie was an incredible help. He wrote the lyrics while I wrote the music, but we definitely influenced each other.”
Gallant is happy with the teamwork and finished product.
“I think it’s a good album, one that’s fun to listen to. You put it in your car stereo and you’ll want to play it a few times through.”
After the CD launch, which was held a few weeks ago in Charlottetown, good things are in store for the band, especially since Ten Strings & a Goat Skin recently signed distribution deals with two companies, Maritime-Acadian distributor Distribution Plages and international digital distributor Believe Digital.
“The first group will physically distribute our music nationally, while the other one is an international digital distributor. We thought we would explore different possibilities,” says Caleb, adding that the album was released on iTunes last week.
May 31, 2013
PEI 2014 launches Song Search with Internationally Renowned Songwriters to Judge
The PEI 2014 Song Search is open to songwriters who call the Island home, that is, who were born or currently live in PEI. Submissions will be accepted online at www.pei2014songsearch.ca until July 15, 2013. Full details about the call for submissions, recording, production and performance of the song are available in the attached backgrounder.
A judging panel consisting of music industry professionals and PEI 2014 representatives will determine the semi-finalists from all song submissions. A panel of three internationally renowned Canadian songwriters: Island native, Lennie Gallant; Our Lady Peace lead singer, Raine Maida; and Chantal Kreviazuk, will judge semi finalist entries.
Lennie Gallant is well equipped to judge a good P.E.I. song.
He has written his share of memorable tunes that capture the special sense of this place and the unique character of its people.
“They’re all different stories,’’ said Gallant.
“Most of them are pretty celebratory. I love this place. It’s a fabulous place to grow up.’’
Gallant’s music has been well received by fans and critics alike, such as his longtime gem Peter’s Dream that made the list of CBC’s Top 10 East Coast Songs of All Time.
Gallant has now been tasked to pick, not write, an original tune to serve as the P.E.I. 2014 theme song that will embody the spirit of next year’s major celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the historic 1864 Charlottetown Conference.
Gallant, who will be joined on the judging panel by well known Canadian entertainers Chantal Kreviazuk and Our Lady Peace lead singer Raine Maida, has written a few theme songs of his own.
“And in each case what I was looking for was to get something that would be memorable and people would be able to sing along to hopefully on the chorus,’’ he said. “Hopefully it will be played on the radio — be radio friendly.’’
Gallant was among the performers Friday drawing a large crowd to the Confederation Centre of the Arts Amphitheatre for the launch of PEI 2014’s Song Search.
An invitation is now out to Island songwriters to submit an original song that is rousing, anthemic and celebratory. The Song Search is open to songwriters who call P.E.I. home, that is, those who were born or currently living in P.E.I.
“Prince Edward Island has no shortage of talent when it comes to songwriting as demonstrated by Stompin’ Tom, Gene MacLellan and Lennie Gallant,’’ says Tourism and Culture Minister Robert Henderson.
“The PEI 2014 Song Search offers the winning songwriter an opportunity to garner fantastic exposure through PEI 2014’s regional and national marketing initiatives and to leave a musical legacy for future generations.’’
A good theme song, says Gallant, has a lot of staying power.
“I think a lot of people can hum melodies of theme songs that took place over the years whether it be an expo or Stompin’ Tom’s (marketing) song for P.E.I. ‘eight double zero five six five seven four two one.’ See, I still remember it.’’
Gallant plans to release a compilation of his own P.E.I.-themed songs in 2014.
He is left scratching his head to come up with the number of songs he has penned over the years about Prince Edward Island and Prince Edward Islanders.
He has nine albums, various other projects, and even a number of unrecorded songs to draw from.
“Let’s just say I’ll probably be whittling it down to get them all on one CD,’’ he says.
As someone who has often written about P.E.I. on his musical journey, Gallant says he is pleased to be part of the search for an exciting theme song that will represent the spirit of the Island and the unique role it has played in building this great country.
Submissions will be accepted online at www.pei2014songsearch.ca until July
15. The 10 semi-finalist songs will be announced by Aug. 15 and the winning
song by Sept. 10. The winning songwriter will receive $7,500.
March 10 , 2013
Lennie Gallant received his 16th East Coast Music Award!
Photo: Doug Gallant
Lennie with Natalie MacMaster at the East Coast Music Awards Gala Sunday, March 10 in Halifax. Both received a special 25th Anniversary Music Award.
During East Coast Music Week Lennie performed at the Sound Celebration with Symphony Nova Scotia at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on Saturday night and hosted the SOCAN Songwriters' Circle at the Schooner Room, Casino Nova Scotia on Sunday.
March 9, 2013
Lennie Gallant kicks off ECMAs set with tribute to Stompin' Tom
Doug Gallant - The Guardian
Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
HALIFAX — When award-winning P.E.I. singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant strode onto the stage of the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium here Saturday night and plugged in his guitar, the first song on his set list was supposed to be Tell Me A Ghost Story.
That’s what it said in the program.
But the events of the last few days have weighed on the mind of the Rustico native.
So, instead, Gallant kicked off his set at A Sound Celebration With Symphony Nova Scotia with a rousing version of Stompin’ Tom Connors’ Bud The Spud that brought the crowd to its feet. click here for the full story
March 9, 2013
Peter's Dream is #4 on CBC's Top 10 East Coast songs of all time!
Top 10 songs selected by a public nomination and vote. The songs in countdown order:
10. I'm Movin' On by Hank Snow
9. Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary's by Otto Kelland
8. Snowbird by Gene MacLellan
7. When It Comes My Turn by David Myles
6. Farewell to Nova Scotia (traditional)
5. Nowhere with You by Joel Plaskett
4. Peter's Dream by Lennie Gallant
3. Working Man by Rita MacNeil
2. Sonny's Dream by Ron Hynes
1. Fare Thee Well Love by Jimmy Rankin
This concert will be broadcast nationally on Canada Live:
CBC Radio 2 on Thursday, April 4 at 7 PM (7:30 in Newfoundland & Labrador)
CBC Radio 1 on Friday, April 5 at 2 PM (2:30 in Newfoundland & Labrador)
"I want to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Peter's Dream on the CBC contest. I think it's a bit odd to have a contest of this nature, as there are so many wonderful songs that could easily also be there, but at the same time I am happy to have a song of mine make the list.
The best thing about it was hearing Maureen Ennis' interpretation of it. It was incredibly moving and I heard many people say they heard the song for the first time all over again while listening to her. If you haven't heard her sing it, please catch the show's rebroadcast nationally on April 5th at 2pm on CBC Radio 1, or April 4 at 7pm on Radio 2.
Once again, thanks for taking the time to vote. I truly appreciate your support!"
Jan 30, 2013
Lennie Gallant with Symphony Nova Scotia
Lennie performed two Sold Out concerts with Symphony Nova Scotia this month - Jan 18 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax, and Jan 19 at the historic St. John's Anglican Church in Lunenburg.
Photo credit: Karen Runge
Sept 24, 2012
My Playlist by Lennie Gallant
"My Playlist by Lennie Gallant" was featured on CBC's Inside
The Music. You can go
here and listen online to Lennie's playlist, which includes
songs from Gordon Lightfoot, Richard Thompson, Sarah Slean and more! Inside
The Music airs Sunday's on Radio One ( 9 - 10 pm) and Radio Two (3 - 4 pm).
June 16, 2012
Lennie Gallant awarded the Acadian Order of Merit 2012
Lennie was awarded the Acadian Order of Merit 2012 in recognition of his work to the future development of Prince Edward Island's Acadian community.
The medal is awarded annually to an Acadian and Francophone man or woman who has made or is making a special contribution to the vitality of Island Acadians and Francophone life.
April 17, 2012
Measha records a Lennie Gallant song!
Lennie recently recorded a duet with Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman for her new album I’ve Got a Crush On You. Measha also recorded Lennie's song "TONIGHT I DRIVE YOU HOME" The album was released on April 17 and you can listen and download the song here!
Titanic 100 Halifax - 1912 - 2012
Lennie Gallant and his band perfoming "The Band's Still Playing" (Titanic Song)
Lennie took part in The Gathering & Night of the Bells in Grand Parade downttown Halifax to honour Nova Scotia's connection to the Titanic. Interpretive presentations and live performances expressed the story of the sinking of the ship, her passengers, and Halifax's recovery efforts. Narrator: Canadian Icon, Gordon Pinsent. Lennie also took part in And the Band Played On: A Tribute to Jock Hume, John Clarke and the RMS Titanic Orchestra at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax, that also featured performances by Bruce Guthro, Meghan Smith, Jenn Grant and others.
March 28, 2012
Lennie Gallant was presented with The UPEI Distinguished Alumni Award
The University of Prince Edward Island recognized three well known alumni—Lennie Gallant, Dr. Theresa Bernardo, and Dico Reijers—at the UPEI Distinguished Alumni and Inspiring Young Alumni Awards on March 28.
Host of CBC’s Mainstreet, Karen Mair, delivered the citation for the first 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Lennie Gallant. Mair made note of Lennie’s supportive family, and the pride that Islanders share of Gallant’s success as an accomplished Island born singer and songwriter.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards are the highest honour presented by the Alumni Association and are presented annually to graduates who have made an outstanding contribution to knowledge, the arts, the community, to the University, or have made a special contribution to an area of service to humanity.
For more information, click here!
Feb 29, 2012
Just Bidin' My Time: A Tribute to Gene MacLellan airs on CBC Radio
Lennie Gallant performs Gene MacLellan's song "The Call"
photo by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
CBC Radio 2's "Canada Live" will air Just Bidin' My Time: A Tribute to Gene MacLellan. Lennie performs two of Gene's songs. Tune in at 7PM (7:30 NT).
Feb 20, 2012
Stolen From A Hockey Card
Lennie took part in the Stolen From A Hockey Card Concert hosted by Ron McLean. With Sarah Harmer, Chris Murphy (Sloan), Stephen Stanley (Lowest of the Low), Carmen Townsend, Liam Corcoran (Two Hours Traffic), Bidiniband and former New York Islanders great and Hockey Hall of Fame member Bryan Trottier. Lennie wrote two new hockey songs and performed them on stage at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown, PEI
Feb 12, 2012
Measha Brueggergosman new album "I've Got A Crush On You"
Lennnie made a special guest appearance with Measha Brueggergosman Feb 10 &11 in Fredericton, NB. Shows were recorded for Measha's new album "I've Got A Crush On You" being released April 17 on Kelp Records!
Measha, Lennie and band
Feb 3, 2012
The Guardian: A musical faceoff
P.E.I. singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant has fond memories of playing hockey on the backyard pond and watching the game in the family’s tiny living room in Rustico. Gallant is performing a new hockey-themed song during Stolen From a Hockey Card on Feb. 9 at the Homburg Theatre of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
P.E.I. singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant has fond memories of playing hockey on the backyard pond and watching the game in the family’s tiny living room in Rustico. Gallant is performing a new hockey-themed song during Stolen From a Hockey Card on...
Stolen From a Hockey Card began as a musical component for Hockey Day
in Canada. For a few years, it was an opening date concert. “But nothing
as ambitious as this,” says creator/producer Dave Bidini. The opening concert
turned into a full-blown event last year with Canadian musicians and hockey
players flying into Whitehorse for the first-ever Stolen From a Hockey Card.
Tickets for the show are available at the Confederation Centre box office at 566-1267 or www.confederationcentre.com.
Award-winning P.E.I. singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant has plenty of fond memories about hockey.
As a boy, he couldn’t wait to tie up his skates each winter.
“As soon as there was any ice on the pond at the back of our house, I was out making a rink. And if that ice was too rough, I would be out there late at night with a bucket (of water) flooding the ice so we could skate on it the next day,” says the Rustico native who rose up through the ranks of peewee, minor and university hockey.
“It played a big part in my life.”
In the late 1950s, Gallant’s grandfather had a little corner store in Rustico, where his brother, Keith, now operates a service station. Gallant’s family lived upstairs. His father had a television, a scarce commodity in those days.
“Every week on hockey night our place would be packed with people who had come to watch the game. There would be one row of people sitting on the floor. There would be another tier sitting on the couch. Another row of people would sit on the back of the couch. And still another tier would be standing up behind it.
“One night there were so many people in that tiny living room the floor dropped. It actually fell two to three inches,” he says, adding that although no one was hurt during the incident, it made a lasting impact on the rural community.
“It has become a legend in Rustico,” says Gallant, who is pleased to be one of the headliners in Stolen from a Hockey Card on Feb. 9 at the Homburg Theatre of the Confederation Centre of the Arts at 8 p.m.
The hockey-themed concert, which will pay tribute to Canada’s love and passion for the game, will also feature singer-songwriters Sarah Harmer, Chris Murphy (Sloan) and Liam Corcoran (Two Hours Traffic), as well as hockey players like former New York Islanders great Bryan Trottier.
For their part, the performers have been commissioned to write an original song about Canada’s favourite game, says the lead singer of Two Hours Traffic.
“We had to pick a hockey player, past or present, and write a song about them. That evening they’re going to unveil them,” says Corcoran. “For people sitting in the audience, it’s going to be a surprise.”
As for the name of the hockey hero he has chosen, he won’t give any hints.
“A few people have asked me, but once I say we’re keeping it hush, hush, they don’t press me too hard,” says Corcoran, who also has a hockey connection.
“I played a lot of hockey growing up — from peewee all the way up to minor hockey. I even went to Ontario to try out for a junior team. It didn’t work out, so I came back (to P.E.I.) and started focusing more on my music.
“Still, hockey has always been a passion of mine. So it’s a big honour to be invited to play at this hockey event.
That’s partly because some of the people that I look up to are involved like Chris Murphy from Sloan and Sarah Harmer — two of the country’s greatest song writers are going to be on the stage that night,” he says.
Dave Bidini, the show’s creator/producer, says if last year’s debut concert in Whitehorse is any indication it will be a tremendous occasion.
“It will be a jam-packed night of some of Canada’s most recognizable faces in hockey combined with some of the country’s top singer-songwriters. It’s well worth the ticket price,” says the enthusiastic musician, songwriter, journalist and hockey fan during a telephone interview.
The master of ceremonies for the star-studded evening will be Ron MacLean, host of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
After playing a similar role last year in Whitehorse, he’s pumped about the event, which is part of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada 2012 celebrations being held across P.E.I.
“It’s going to be so much fun. I’ll be there to provide a bit of the Hockey Night in Canada hijinks. Dave Bidini will tell some great stories. So it will be a great mix of music and hockey talk — two things that are close to the hearts of Prince Edward Islanders,” he says.
Other than emceeing and enjoying the music, MacLean plans to make some new friends.
“I’m looking forward to meeting Lennie Gallant. I don’t know him personally. But I’m kind of a fan.
“I also am excited about meeting Bryan Trottier, winner of six Stanley Cups. That’ s the other thing I’m looking forward to,” he says.
Meanwhile, Bidini is busy working with musicians who are preparing to premiere their work.
For the occasion he has put together a house band, which is known as the Bidiniband.
That night, one by one performers will hop up to the mike and sing their song.
And he wants everyone to know how special that will be.
“You’ll have a chance to witness something truly unique in art and performance. And it will only happen once.”
Jan 21, 2012
The Guardian: Music P.E.I. Week wraps up with awards gala in Charlottetown
Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Lennie Gallant sings one his most famous songs, Peters Dream, during the P.E.I Music Awards Gala Saturday night in the Homburg Theatre.
Jan 14, 2012
A Tribute To Gene MacLellan
Lennie performed at the sold out concert: Just Biding My Time: A Tribute To Gene MacLellan in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. In the first-ever large-scale concert in his honour, MacLellan's music was performed and saluted by a cast of some of the very best Island musicians, plus special guests. The show, called Just Bidin' My Time, was produced by Music PEI, and recorded for broadcast by CBC Radio and TV.
Lennie Gallant and Meaghan Blanchard sing "Shilo Song"
photo by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Lennie Gallant performs Gene MacLellan's song "The Call"
photo by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Dec 29, 2011 - The Guardian, Arts and Entertainment
On the horizon
For many P.E.I. performers, 2011 was filled with opportunity and success.
Now, as the old year fades, some of these artists continue to shine.
The Guardian recently spoke with four performers it featured in stories during 2011 who are looking forward to exciting new projects in the new year.
P.E.I. singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant is excited about performing in Just Biding My Time: A Tribute to Gene MacLellan, the CBC televised concert taking place Jan. 14 at Zion Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown at 8 p.m.
“Gene was a great songwriter. He contributed a great deal to Canadian culture. Gene also helped to launch Anne Murray’s career,” said Gallant during a recent telephone interview.
In his lifetime, he added, many people were moved by his work.
“I think it’s important that something like this is happening to remember somebody who meant so much to the musical community,” says Gallant, adding that the star-studded concert will feature Gene’s daughter, Catherine MacLellan, as well as Ron Hynes, Haunted Hearts, Meaghan Blanchard and more.
“Gene was a personal friend, and I miss him. We all miss him,” says Gallant, who is also one of the headliners for Stolen From a Hockey Card, a concert taking place on Feb. 9 at the Confederation Centre of the Arts at 8 p.m. as part of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada 2012 celebrations.
“Hockey played an important part in my life as I was growing up — both as a player and a crazy fan — so I’m very much looking forward to it,” says Gallant, who is also making several yet-to-be announced appearances during Metro Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week 2012 in Charlottetown.
“As you can see, I’m going to be pretty busy for the months of January and February on P.E.I.,” he says.
From The Guardian
Dec 2, 2011
Live in Halifax with special guest Lennie Gallant on CBC's A Propos
Recorded live in Halifax, this edition of A Propos features the sounds of Prince Edward Island, the sounds of Nova Scotia, the sounds of our guest, Lennie Gallant. Hear Jim Corcoran and Lennie Gallant in conversation, in front of a studio audience, as they speak about songwriting and Acadian culture in Prince Edward Island, writing and performing on the road, and simply about music. Also, Lennie performs some of his recent songs live in cozy Studio H at CBC Halifax.
Listen online - click here
July 5, 2011
Lennie Gallant performs in Trafalgar Square, London England on Canada Day
Lennie Gallant on stage in London England. Oh My Darling on backing vocals. (Photo: Ro Cemm)
Lennie performed in Trafalgar Square on Friday July 1st in the largest Canada Day celebration outside Canada’s borders. Thousands of Canadians and friends of Canadians will gather to join in the festivities and celebrate the country’s 144th birthday.
Now in its sixth year, this celebration of all things Canadian is free for everyone to attend. Highlights of the day-long celebration include the annual Trafalgar Cup street hockey tournament, Canadian food and drink, and cooking demonstrations from a celebrity Canadian chef. There’s also the chance to gather the latest information about exciting Canadian destinations, and to learn more about travelling to and visiting Canada.
The main stage provided a platform for crowds to enjoy Canada’s artists and offers the perfect backdrop to other major attractions on offer during Canada Day in London. Lennie shared the stage with Blue Rodeo, Karkwa, Alex Cuba, The Mahones, Devon Sproule, Oh My Darling, Justin Hines, Tammy Weis and James Bryan.
This year’s event was hosted by Tanya Kim, anchor of Canada’s #1 entertainment news show CTV’s ETALK. Kim and her crew talked to artists backstage while also capturing the day’s events. CTV's “The Marilyn Denis Show” correspondent Cabral Richards was also participating in the celebration by introducing the stellar performers onstage.
For more information about Canada Day in London, please visit www.canadadaylondon.com
Paradise on the page
Musician Lennie Gallant adds 'children’s author' to his creative credits
By LOIS LEGGE Features Writer - Chronicle Herald
Lennie Gallant reads his new children’s book, A Day With You in Paradise, which is based on one of his songs, with his seven-year-old daughter Amelie in the backyard of his Halifax home. (Ingrid Bulmer / Staff)
A GOOD SONG is often a good story.
The multiple award-winning Maritime singer-songwriter is now a children’s book author, the man behind the words in A Day with You in Paradise, a new book based on his song of the same name.
Illustrated by New Waterford’s Patsy MacKinnon, the book spotlights a place where "wind turns tail on the setting sun, eagle comes searching for the mackerel run."
Children also play in the sand, eat from mussel beds, share "seaweed pillows" — all scenes reminiscent of his childhood as the oldest of six children growing up in Rustico, P.E.I.
It’s not entirely autobiographical though. The family in this story doesn’t arrive at Cavendish Beach in a gravel truck.
"My dad was a truck driver and we didn’t have a car, he just had a gravel truck that he drove. . . . And I remember on Sundays . . . we’d all jump in the back of the gravel truck and head off down to the beach," he recalls with a laugh.
"And I thought that was the greatest thing, you know. I look back now and think we couldn’t even afford to have a car but . . . I never felt that way. I never felt that we were missing anything. It was an adventure and I have a lot of cool memories of being a kid on the beach."
The story depicts everything from guitar playing to kite flying to frolicking on the beach — vivid colours courtesy of MacKinnon, who Gallant says "did a great job."
But the Halifax resident did tweak a few lyrics for his new, younger audience, including his seven-year-old daughter Amelie.
"The spirit of it is very much the same (but), for instance, there’s a line —‘dive in the waves, feel the water’s slap, hear the popping of your ears and the cold beer cap.’ Well, you know, I thought it didn’t belong in a children’s book so we changed it to ‘pop cap’ . . . and a few other lines that seemed perhaps a little more geared toward adult ears we changed. . . . I really like the way they turned out."
Gallant’s hoping it turns a whole new audience toward his music, which takes him to the northeastern United States this month, then to Trafalgar Square in London for Canada Day concert celebrations July 1, and then back to Prince Edward Island for the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, which starts July 7.
PEI Book Launch will be held at Confederation Centre Library on Wednesday, June 13 at 7 pm. Bookmark will be selling the books at their location.
Purchase your copy from us via paypal
April 17, 2011
Lennie Gallant accepting his 15th ECMA award at the Music Awards Gala, held in Charlottetown, PEI
March 8, 2011
Cavendish Beach Music Festival
Cavendish Beach Music festival announced today that Lennie Gallant will co-headline the Main Stage!
Others announced today were Trace Adkins, Johnny Reid, Brad Paisley, George Canyon, Toby Keith and more! CMT personality Casey Clarke flew into town today to personally unveil a good portion of the star-studded line-up for the newly branded LottoMax presents Cavendish Beach Music Festival scheduled to take place July 7-10, 2011 in Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island.
Tickets on Sale: 10:00AM Saturday, March 12, 2011
March 2, 2011
Canada Day in Trafalgar Square, London England
Lennie Gallant will perform at the 6th Annual Canada Day in London celebration that will take place in Trafalgar Square. Attracting well over 50,000 Londoners and visitors from around the globe, the celebration of Canada’s 144th birthday presents a unique opportunity to enjoy the best of Canadian music. Previous years have seen artists like Sam Roberts, Kathleen Edwards, Jully Black, Sarah Harmer and Hawkesly Workman grace the stage on the square. Full details will be announced Friday, March 4 at www.canadadaylondon.com
March 2, 2011
David Suzuki's "Playlist for the Planet"
Ashelin's "Song for Mariana" won a spot on the playlist, representing Newfoundland. Lennie co-wrote this song with Ashelin. You can listen here: http://radio3.cbc.ca/#/bands/Ashelin
March 2, 2011
New Single "If We Had A Fire" released to Country Radio
The single "If We Had A Fire" will be released to Country Radio in Canada on March 7. The song was co-written with 2011 Juno Nominee Carolyn Dawn Johnson and she also sings on it with Lennie.
Jan 20, 2011
Lennie Gallant receives four ECMA nominations!
Artist and industry award nominations were announced today at the Confederation Centre of the Arts for East Coast Music Week 2011 to be held April 13-17 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Lennie Gallant received nominations for Fan's Choice Entertainer of the Year, Francophone Recording of the Year (Le coeur hante´), Recording of the Year (If We Had A Fire) and Songwriter of the Year.
Fan’s Choice voting opens March 14.
Awards will be distributed throughout the event at various times on showcasing stages, at the Industry Awards Brunch, and at the Music Awards Gala on Sunday, April 17 at the Homburg Theatre at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown.
Oct 15, 2010
Gallant delivers another memorable night
Published on October 15th, 2010
“Spending a night with Lennie is almost always a memorable experience,” Eric MacEwen said, as he warmly and passionately introduced Lennie Gallant to a packed crowd at the newly-renovated Kings Playhouse last Friday night.
MacEwen has stated many truths in his day, and the performance that Gallant followed through with proved him to be right again.
“Eric and I have never spent a whole night together, just for the record,” Gallant smiled in his first words at the mike, to start the show on a comedic note.
The premise behind the night of music at the Kings Playhouse was to raise money and food donations for the Georgetown Food Bank. And what better way to do it than to bring out one of the Island’s most widely-known singer-songwriters of all time for the cause.
(Incidentally, he’s so nationally known now that he recently became a “P.E.I. singer-songwriter” clue in the National Post crossword. “And Stompin’ Tom did not fit!” Gallant said.)
Flanked by two Nova Scotia musicians, Anthony Rissesco on violin to his right and Keith Mullins on drums and backing vocals to his left, Gallant wheeled into a driving quick strummer of a first tune — Mademoiselle, Voulez-Vous Danser — to kick things off with a spectacular bang.
(Did you know that Jimmy Buffett recorded that one several years ago? Of course, it pales in comparison to Gallant’s version, but hey, there it is.)
Gallant’s new album is called If We Had a Fire, which has garnered him three nominations for the upcoming Canadian Folk Music Awards in November, and throughout the night he performed a handful of tunes from this new recording.
His third song of the evening, Before We Sell This Car, was one of these. A tune written with Juno award-winning country artist Carolyn Dawn Johnson, it’s a nostalgic heartstring-puller complete with some catchy melodic hooks and was definitely one of my favourites of the night.
Some other highlights of the first set included songs like Tell Me a Ghost Story (perfectly spooky for an October night), You Don’t Know How Beautiful You Are (a gorgeous new tune written for his six-year old daughter, Amelie), 47 Angels on Her Front Lawn (always such a rocker) and, of course, Peter’s Dream, which raised everyone’s voices in song, as well as the goosebumps on the back of my neck.
Gallant also told us an interesting story in the first set. Mentioning that Canadian astronaut Julie Payette took one of his CDs along for her recent trip into space, he also said he was originally going to try to get her a copy of the new CD to take along for the ride as well, particularly because the launch of the album coincided with the launch of her shuttle (“What better way to launch a CD, eh?” Gallant chuckled). But he quickly realized this wouldn’t be the best idea when he remembered that the CD was called If We Had a Fire.
Some highlights of the second set were songs like the set opener, Which Way Does the River Run, the title track from the CD, If We Had a Fire (which is just such a fantastically-written song, with a profound putting-life-in-perspective message to it), the old classic that still sails on, Tales of the Phantom Ship (again, wonderfully fitting for this time of year), the emotively enveloping Wounded, the Gandhi-inspired Be the Change and the massive finale, The Band’s Still Playing, which featured the cream of the crop of Rissesco’s incredible violin solo work throughout the show.
After a standing ovation, and an encore of Seven Years, a guy shouted out, “Open Window!” in the midst of the audience’s applause.
“Maybe he just wants us to open a window?” drummer Mullins said.
But follow through with his request they did, as Gallant belted out with gusto one of his most adored tunes in his repertoire, and the trio rocked it home solidly.
What a treat it was to hear Gallant in this setting and what a great help it was for the underprivileged of the Georgetown area to head into the fall and winter with a boost to the food bank resources.
Oct 7, 201
Nominated For Three Canadian Folk Music Awards
Lennie Gallant has received nominations in three categories from The Canadian Folk Music Awards, announced Wednesday in Winnipeg - host city for the 2010 CFMA Gala event. Gallant, who released two albums in 2009, "If We Had A Fire" and "Le coeur hante´", received nominations for English Songwriter of the year, French Songwriter of the year and Contemporary Album of the year.
The Canadian Folk Music Awards, created in 2005 to bring greater exposure
to the treasure trove of Canadian folk music, honours outstanding achievements
in 19 categories. Awards will be handed out at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre
in Winnipeg on Saturday, November 20, 2010.
"If We Had a Fire" and "Le coeur hante´" are available in stores, online and at iTunes.
April 29, 2010
"Peter's Dream" # 1 on the Essential East Coast Playlist
CBC Radio's Mainstreet on P.E.I. assembled the Essential East Coast Playlist and listeners voted for their favourite Atlantic Canadian tunes. The results are in and "Peter's Dream" topped the list at #1.
Thanks for your votes!
April 19, 2010
Podcast/Concerts on Demand
Lennie's concert recorded at the National Arts Centre is now Available by Podcast www.cbc.ca/radio2/podcasts/canadalive.html
Listen online anytime! This concert is available on Concerts On Demand: Lennie Gallant live at the NAC - www.cbc.ca/radio2/cod/concerts/20100119galla
Please take a moment to write a review following the concert!
April 10, 2010
2010 Juno Awards
Lennie will perform at JUNOFEST on Saturday, April 17 at Bridie Molloy's on George Street at 11 pm.
JunoFest wristbands on sale now at the Mile One Centre Box Office; by phone (709) 576-7657, (toll free)1-800-361-4595 or online at www.admission.com. Only a limited number of JunoFest wristbands are available. Wristbands offer fans priority entry at all JunoFest venues both nights (subject to capacity).
100+ Bands, 16 Venues, 2 Nights, 1 Wristband for $30.
March 9, 2010
Lennie Gallant wins his 14th East Coast Music Award!
Lennie Gallant won "Roots Recording of the Year" for If We Had A Fire. This makes a record number of awards for a solo artist! He also performed on the Gala Awards Show.
Feb 23, 2010
Lennie Gallant performs at BC Place (below), during the Olympic Victory Ceremony, at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games!
Watch the performance here ( the show starts at the 4:30 minute mark).
More photos - click here!
Jan 17 , 2010
Lennie Gallant joins the line-up for Halifax for Haiti
The Halifax for Haiti benefit concert featuring Halifax-based DRUM! and an array of the region’s finest artists is confirmed for the Halifax Metro Centre, Monday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Joining DRUM!, the line-up now includes: Anna Ludlow, Bruce Guthro, Charlie A’Court, Christina Martin, Classified, Joel Plaskett, Lennie Gallant, Linda Carvery, Nova Scotia Mass Choir, Rhapsody Quintet, Scott Macmillan, Sung Ha Shin-Bouey, The Stanfields and Thom Swift. Brookes Diamond indicates there are more to come.
All tickets are $20 and go on sale at 11 a.m., Tuesday, January 19 through www.ticketatlantic.com, at the Ticket Atlantic box office, charge by phone at 451-1221 or at any of the 17 participating Atlantic Superstore outlets. Proceeds from the event will go to the Canadian Red Cross, to support their relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
Jan 6, 2010
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games!
Lennie will be performing six shows at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games! Performing with his full band at both indoor and outdoor venues. The show on Feb 18th at BC Place, during the Olympic Victory Ceremony, will be televised internationally!
For more information, please visit the tour page of the website.
Jan 6, 2010
Ottawa and Montréal
In January, Lennie will return to Ottawa to release his 2 new albums at the National Arts Centre and in Montréal at Place des Arts. Tickets are on sale now!
Jan 19 National
Arts Centre - Tickets: 613-755-1111 or ticketmaster.ca
or NAC Box Office - 53 Elgin Street. English
"If We Had A Fire"
Jan 20 National Arts Centre - Tickets: 613-755-1111 or ticketmaster.ca or NAC Box Office - 53 Elgin Street - French "Le coeur hanté"
Jan 22 Place des Arts - Tickets: 514-842-2112/1-866-842-2112.
Jan 23 Place des Arts - Tickets: 514-842-2112/1-866-842-2112.
December 22, 2009
Ring in the New Year with Lennie Gallant!
Lennie will headline the big outdoor New Year's Eve concert in Grand Parade Downtown Halifax. The show begins at 10:45 pm on December 31st. Broadcast on "A" Channel from 10:45pm to 12:10am.
Satellite - Bell TV Channel 202 and Shaw Direct Channel 340
Cable - Eastlink (Halifax) Channel 7
IPTV - Bell Aliant TV (Halifax) Channel 5
Join us downtown Halifax or tune in on Television to welcome in 2010!
December 22, 2009
Lennie Gallant on Canada AM Christmas Day
On Christmas day you can enjoy Lennie's timeless Christmas song "The Innkeeper" on CTV Canada AM.
The Innkeeper was performed as a play at a cathedral in Charlottetown with a cast of 200 on Christmas Eve and is available on the When We Get There CD, as well as available for downlowd at iTunes. It will warm your heart this season!
November 3, 2009
New French Album Released Today!
Le coeur hanté
With the opening song, Une Tempete dans Mon Coeur, the album roars out of the starting gate and holds the listener hostage with a collection of songs that will not let you go until you surrender your heart to the passion and raw emotion displayed in the music it contains . The album is called Le couer hanté and it examines love and relationships from differing points of view and speaks with many voices while doing so. From the power of a dam bursting in ones heart and the ensuing flood of things previously unsaid in the opening number, to the tender and beautiful Tu ne sais pas comment jolie tu es, the suspicions of infidelity that live in L’histoire du phantom, to the blazing relationship questions in Si on passait au feu, these songs ask us what we would save if we suddenly had to really decide what was absolutely necessary in our lives.
While many of the numbers rock out with big questions of life and love Gallant does not omit the humorous side of it all with songs like J’adore ton chapeau, a comic bilingual number he wrote with award winning songwriter Gordie Sampson (Jesus Take the Wheel). He also touches on subjects not often approached in song with the aching power ballad Rien nest perdu, where the singer refuses to let regret destroy the beautiful memories of a love that has run it’s course, and from the other side of the street, the bounty of love one can discover after fighting to stay together through thick and thin in La vie de tous les jours extraordinaire. This is an album that is sure to involve anyone listening as the subject matter moves through topics that have touched us all in some form or other in our lives and does so in ways to make us laugh, dance and cry a little bit. Let this album into your heart and it will haunt you with it’s melodies that will not be easily left behind after the final song. Le coeur hanté wants to be the ghost you can’t escape, or resist returning to again and again!
Le coeur hanté available is available in Stores, Online and at iTunes.
August 9, 2009
Full House at Folk Harbour Roars It Up For Lennie
Posted by Stephen Pedersen
Lunenburg loves Lennie and Lennie loves Lunenburg. Repeated standing ovations at his outstanding set Friday night in the Tent on Blockhouse Hill, echoed the thunder but also completely wiped away the memory of the extraordinary cloudburst and lightning storm that swept over the site minutes before the show began.
Lennie Gallant’s genius at writing and singing his own songs has given us not only classics like Peter’s Dream, And The Band Played On, and Which Way Does The River Run, but new songs on their way to the Lennie Gallant Hall of Fame.
These would include Wounded, his compassionate tribute to broken soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in an atmosphere of our collective silence and neglect. And the poignancy of Before You Sell This Car (from his latest album If We Had A Fire). An old car is full of memories from first kisses to coffee spills that often mark the landmarks of our lives.
There is an energy in Lennie’s singing, an inner fire of Acadian French rhythms performed at blazing speeds, and also an orchestral fullness to the fat chords he pulls or strikes from his guitar.
A further sign of Lennie’s musical taste is the musicians he chooses for his bands. It’s a highly refined taste, that penetrates more often than most singer-songwriters to the inner sanctum of music’s wizardry, of it’s ability when approached with utter honesty, to penetrate the cosmos, to rip away the veil of the familiar to reveal the fabled Music of the Spheres talked about in earlier centuries.
Anthony Rissessco on violin and Jamie Alcorn on acoustic electric guitar are two veteran practitioners who, like Lennie, are at the peak of their musicality having broken through to the glory of speaking it’s language with the ease and eloquence of great poets.
Both of them stunned the audience repeatedly with their improvised solo breaks and interior fills and ornaments. Brilliant as they were, they topped it all with the kind of professional confidence and support that cleared the path for Lennie and only surged in after he had passed, like the Red Sea after the Army of Jehovah reached the far shore dry-footed.
New CD "If We Had A Fire" Released!
Lennie Gallant released his latest album If We Had A Fire and he claims it is his best work yet. Recorded in beautiful St Cecilia Studios on the outskirts of Halifax, the album holds 14 new Gallant songs, performed by the artist and some of the best musicians the East Coast has to offer. “It was a pretty magical place to make music. Saint Cecelia Studios is a reconverted chapel turned studio owned by friends of mine and the welcoming light that shone through the beautiful stained glass on many mornings made it one of the most creative and relaxing venues I ever had the chance to work in. Everyone that came to play on the project commented on the vibe of the place and the positive energy they experienced during the sessions." Gallant produced the album with Hayward Parrott, who over the years, has worked with some of the most influential people in the Canadian music industry including Gordon Lightfoot,and the great Quebecois band Harmonium. He was also the engineer on the Tears Are Not Enough session, so the list of Canadian artists he’s worked with is quite lengthy. Also on the production team was Brad Davidge, who had been acting as guitarist in Gallant’s band for almost a year, alternating with Jamie Alcorn, and has played with some of the hottest players on the planet.
"This is the first project I’ve recorded so close to home since my debut album, Breakwater," says Gallant. “It was great to be able to use players with whom I had been on the road, or jammed with over the years, especially my main road guys Sean Kemp, Brad Davidge, Jamie Alcorn, Adam Dowling and Kim Dunn. There was a real sense of camaraderie and the creation of something special going on in the studio environment. All the songs’ basic tracks were recorded live off the floor and almost all the vocals as well so we ended up with a real honest energy on the tracks and, I think, some kind of magic that a more piece by piece structured recording would probably miss."
Gallant says he is very happy with the way the songs turned out. "We had been playing some of these in our live show for a while and were eager to get them down. Songs like Tell Me A Ghost Story, Before We Sell This Car, If We Had A Fire, have been going over great in our concerts so we were really ready to commit them to disc.
As usual, I ended up writing like mad up until, and during the recording,
so some songs were practically born during the process as well. I think
it’s cool to have that blend of tried and true and fresh outta the oven
on the same album”
Those who have heard the new project say they are knocked out by the dynamic energy of many of the songs and by the storytelling as well. Gallant has long been known as a killer spinner of tales in his past work, and songs like Emily’s Letters, (a song of unconditional love and a shared secret), The Ringer (a mystical tale of recapturing a lost soul), and Tonight I Drive You Home, (a heartrending story that may find MADD wanting to embrace) will more than satisfy those looking for that solid Gallant narrative and one- two punch knock out ending.
Extraordinary Ordinary Life, recorded with Symphony Nova Scotia, is a song about couples who have stuck it out for the long hall through thick and thin, and Gallant’s moving portrait of a seemingly ordinary relationship is sure to make even the most jaded listener take a deep breath or two. Count on this one being used at many an anniversary celebration in the future.
There are lots of rockin tunes on this album as well with songs like Dance The Dark Away and The Coldest Road lending some heat and inspiration to the night.
His Song Be The Change was inspired by the words of both Mia Farrow and Mahatma Gandhi and incorporates a choir of children including Gallant’s own 5 year old daughter. The album also includes several co-writes with some fairly prestigious writers including Gordie Sampson, Troy Verges, Gerald O’Brien, and Carolyn Dawn Johnston, who also sings with Gallant on the title song. Other guest vocalists include Rose Cousins and Coco Love Alcorn. Guest musicians include Ray Legere, Dale Murray, and Isabelle Theriault for the group Ode de L’Acadie.
There is one song though that Gallant says is his favorite co-write on the album. “I was on the road for a couple weeks and talking to my five year old daughter, Amelie, on the phone, telling her how much I missed her, when she said, 'Daddy, you re like the flowers in my heart, and I go there when you ‘re away' I said “What did you say?!! I couldn’t believe she made that up and so had to incorporate it into a song and, of course, give credit where it's due.” The song is called Flowers in My Heart, and like so many other songs on this recording, it will surely find a place in the heart of any listener wise enough to seek out this latest offering from one of the country’s premiere songwriters.
Gallant's Music Reaches New Heights
Lennie Gallant to release new album this summer, while his latest one is launched in space on July 15 at 6:03 pm (EDT)
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette returns to the International Space Station aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in June and will be bringing along Lennie Gallant's latest album When We Get There. Ms Payette chose the album for the astronaut crew of Mission STS-127 to enjoy while on their 16 day mission, which will include five spacewalks. Gallant's music has been heard around the world and will now orbit the earth.
Mission STS-127 will attach a platform to the outside of the space station's
Japanese Laboratory Kibo. Science experiments will take place on this platform,
allowing them to remain exposed to the harsh environment of space.
Lennie Gallant's latest album, "When We Get There" received a JUNO Award nomination. His new album "If We Had A Fire" will be released this summer.
For more information on Julie Payette and Mission STS-127, please visit http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/missions/sts-127/.