Sunday, December 14, 2008


PRESS RELEASE - December 12
Ottawa, ON


Mélissa Laveaux and Marie-Josée Houle defy the "same old" and the been-done" at home and at large

Mélissa Laveaux returns home with a French-signed (NoFormat!) and major-distributed (Universal France) CD that will only be available in her home country for one night of unfettered alt acoustic blues-folk alongside Marie-Josée Houle, Ottawa's sultry songstress of the accordion and Scandinavian tours.

Laveaux has made Paris her new home, and the world her oyster, traveling to destinations (Switzerland, Japan, Mexico and France) facilitated by booking agency 3DFamily (Tony Allen, K'Naan, Bonga, Omara Portuondo...).

Recording a definite upgrade from her self-produced debut in Toronto and in France, Mélissa Laveaux’s recently released disc is highly praised by smitten French critics, while leaving them at a loss, as the label's "world music" and "folk" hardly encompass the realm of musical expression.

Losing the cheque meant to pay for piano lessons at 6 years old eventually meant that Mélissa Laveaux, a self-taught guitarist and singer-songwriter, would always lack the discipline to follow structure and traditions in music. Years spent polishing exotic and eclectic playlists on community radio help her forge her instinctive approach to music. She's noted for her distinct percussive bassline fingerstyle guitar technique, a wet breathy raucous voice and unwonted lyricism.

Garnering some attention from local and national media (CBC, SRC) and music institutions (Ontario Council of Folk Festivals, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Canada Council for the Arts) with a self-produced debut LP , she is picked up by French indie label NoFormat through her Myspace in 2007. Known for its eclectic catalogue (Gonzales, Mamani Keita and Nicolas Repac), the label sees Laveaux as a smart addition to their limited roster. Their interpretation of Laveaux's Camphor and Copper includes two creative covers (Elliot Smith's "Needle in the Hay" and Eartha Kitt's "I Wanna be Evil") atop of Laveaux's own repertoire - composed of original pieces of an impressive maturity and freshness. Her voice, alone, unfurls majestic and fragile, profound and sensual, furrowed with deep stirring under the immediate seduction, almost reworked and rearranged by the ever-present languages in her life: the fluidity of the English, the nonchalant syncopation of the Kreyol, and the harmonic sophistication of the French.


In October, Marie-Josée Houle released another critically acclaimed CD [Monsters] that also defies all categorization, showcasing a writing style often compared to that of Tom Waits and Nick Cave. On Sunday, December 28th, Mélissa Laveaux shares a double bill with Marie-Josée Houle at Zaphod's Nightclub, where each lady will play some maturing and some newly-written polyglotted compositions, each using traditional instruments and happily breaking the stereotypes bound to them.

Born in Val d‘Or, Quebec, and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Marie-Josée celebrates her dual cultural roots through music. Singing and writing in both English and French, she brings the Townships to the Prairies and beyond by combining her classical, punk rock, and French cabaret sensibilities into one sultry stew of sound. Her musical history is as varied as her hair colour. Classically trained on the accordion at age five, she chose other instruments as the medium to first deliver music to the masses.

In 2000, she took up the electric bass and saxophone in order to form two very eclectic projects in Edmonton. Her reconnection with the accordion coincided with a move to Ottawa in 2003 and culminated in the world music collaboration whose success - including a performance at the 2005 Ottawa Folk Music Festival – served as a springboard for her solo work.

In a span of three years, Marie-Josée Houle relentlessly toured Canada and Europe and released two critically acclaimed solo albums, each receiving a Best Folk Album nomination by the Ottawa XPress alongside local folk sensations Jim Bryson and Kathleen Edwards. Both albums charted and received solid airplay on local college and community radio stations in Canada, the US, Belgium, France, Norway and the UK.


Mélissa Laveaux & Marie-Josée Houle double bill

Sunday, December 28, 2008 - 8 pm
27 York St. [Byward Market]
Ottawa, ON, Canada
$8 cover


Saturday, December 13, 2008




The 8th edition of Virée Blues Boréale comes to a close

Already 8 editions completed: that is over 70 shows, to over 7000 loyal Blues fans! But what is Virée Blues Boréale’s management coming up with this time ... ? Lots of new things with the first Blues Woman to perform on stage at Virée Blues Boréale, with her loyal band which, as the rumor goes, would also act as Carl Tremblay’s band ...

Imagine: the stage, the lights to heat up the atmosphere, the audience applauds ... When the show begins, they’re in their element! The guitar introduces the first notes amplified by the joy of renewing with the so pleasant sounds of the Blues. The drums and bass guitar sink in to complement with their solid beat the themes that modern Blues aficionados as well as nostalgics will recognize right away. The voice comes in to intensify the soul of the Blues and carries us into that different universe which we’re always so happy to rediscover.

The Rosy Blues Band is:

Rosanne 'Rosy' Bissonette, the woman, the voice, the strength, the mainstay of the group. Her raw voice, typical of the Blues, gets us traveling on every air and takes us on the wings of her lyric flights. Born in St-Roch-sur-Richelieu in 1982, Rosy started her musical career studying classical piano. She then shifted to vocal performance taught by renowned teachers.

Carl Dutremble, guitar, expert at the Blues that he discovered at the same time as his passion for the guitar was born in Sorel in 1981. Carl started on drums at 12. A great fan of «alternative» music (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, ... ) , he practiced on drums till 17. The guitar finally appealed to him and led him to choose the Blues' great adventure. Listening to recordings by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Sheppard and Joe Bonnamassa, Carl improved his mastery of the guitar. His lively rock flavored guitar skills touch the hearts of the many age groups that make up the blues and rock fans. With his classic Stratocaster as well as his flashy” Flying V", without forgetting his favorite, the exotic "Gigliotti", Carl offers a rich and varied sound.

Mario Couture, the bass player, is the fusion of the group’s influences; his roots are into jazz while his heart leans toward funk. Born in Sorel in 1979, Mario started on the electric bass guitar by the age of 14. He also opens up to the world of jazz and improves his playing with jazz and funk that will help him perfect his performance, rhythmic and melodic. Jaco Pastorius, Rocco Prestia and Les Claypool are still his most notorious influences. Versatility motivates his many musical quests. He sometimes even performs with still active stars from the 60s like Patrick Zabé, Guy Harvey from les Gendarmes, Simon from Les Lutins, Jenny Rock, Maxime Farago, Claire Lepage, Eddy Roy from Les Belairs, Jacques Salvail and we also care to mention the late Dino Lespérance from César et les Romains.

Stéphane Jetté, the drummer, is the driving force behind this happening; he offers all of the group the cohesion of his rhythms. Last to join the group, his definite talent came as a seal to Rosy Blues Band. This group which pleased so many on its last appearance at Virée Blues Boréale, promises another explosive, electrifying evening and full of surprises.

The Rosy Blues Band invites you to Virée Blues Boréale, on Wednesday, December 17, 2008, at 8h00 p.m. at Cafe Le Troquet, 41 Laval Street, in the Old Hull sector of Gatineau, PQ.

For inquiries or interviews, please contact Alexandre Petit at:

Further information on our artists can be found at:

You should also visit our own site at: for links to our guests’ sites and for lots of other interesting information.

We also would like to request your help to support an all-new radio station which may become a future partner of Virée Blues Boréale, DAWG FM.

This Outaouais 100% Blues radio is now requesting a licence from the CRTC. “Facebookers” can support by joining the DAWG FM group. Everyone else can send us an identified (name, address, e-mail or phone) message of support at and we will gladly pass it on to the appropriate persons.

For more information on DAWG FM's proposed radio licence, read Todd Bernard's message below:

Hi, all.

This is a reminder asking you to please help us convince the CRTC to uphold its decision from August 26th, when it licensed Torres Media Ottawa Inc. to start Canada's first Blues FM radio station here in Ottawa.

One of the competing applicants from our Ottawa hearings successfully petitioned the federal government, based largely on the Official Languages Act, to have the decision returned to the CRTC for "reconsideration and hearing."

This is bad news. It means we could lose our license and Canada could lose its first Blues radio station.

Please help us keep our license and bring Canada its first Blues format FM radio station by completing the attached support letter. You just need to fill in your name, address, telephone/ email, and date at the top. Then type your name at the bottom. It takes a couple of minutes at most.

Once you've completed the letter, please send it to the following recipients:

2. CRTC complaints:
3. Minister of Heritage:
4. Deputy Minister of Heritage:
5. Minister for Industry:

If you have already done this – thanks very kindly for your support. If you have not as of yet, please do so A.S.A.P. The matter is currently before the CRTC for reconsideration, and time is of the essence.

Thanks everyone for your help!

Todd Bernard
G.M. Ottawa Division
(613) 521-7543 office
(613) 521-0823 fax