For Immediate Release
Marie-Josée Houle backed by full band w/ Evil Farm Children at the Elmdale Tavern on April 25!
A Psychobilly band and an accordion-wielding Cabaret siren sharing a show??
It may seem like an unlikely match, but as Marie-Josée Houle packs away the things in her apartment, she is reminded that just six years ago, when she first moved to Ottawa, she was a bass player and came looking for a metal band. Little did she know that in Ottawa, she would rediscover her accordion, find her singing voice and explore a musical road she would have never imagined for herself. However, no amount of accordion buttons can fully take the rocker out of the girl.
When Marie-Josée sat in with Evil Farm Children for a song at their CD release show last fall, she was reminded that their drummer, Jeb Bond, was one of the first musicians she met when she first moved to Ottawa. So it only seemed fitting that she and Evil Farm Children would team up for her last big show before she heads back out West to her family for the summer.
For this show, Marie-Josée and her accordion may be backed by the usual jazz suspects - Derek Loewen on drums, Chris Breitner on double bass, Steve Tippet on piano, and Ken Kanwisher on cello - but they promise to kick things up a notch or two.
For those who have seen Evil Farm Children, they know they're in for a great ride!
Marie-Josée Houle backed by full band w/ Evil Farm Children
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Doors open at 9pm
Contact Marie-Josée Houle
Contact Evil Farm Children
"Houle's rekindled accordion relationship has resulted in wonderful levels of sultry mood frolic over two primo albums that not only feature her instrumental dexterity, but also a splendidly saucy vocal styling in three languages: English, French and Romance. " - John Sekerka, Ottawa XPress, November 27/08
"Marie-Josée Houle's second album, Monsters, is a cathartic exercise about heartbreak that benefits both author and listener." - Fateema Sayani, Ottawa Citizen, October 16/08
"A moody emotional journey that set Houle's accordion and emotive vocals in a decidedly non-polka context, the album defied easy categorization. And immediately won favour with those in search of challenging independent sounds outside the world of post-rock collectives and stoner-rock bands. Monsters, the followup to that promising debut, ups the ante. Accordion in
hand, Houle runs through dark narratives of demons internal and external, as her merry band of Canadians and Norwegians delves into vaguely Europeanwaltz, klezmer, rock and, yes, polka territory. Throughout, Houle sings of wanton desire and the perils thereof, throwing in a well-placed Jolie Holland cover along the way." Alan Wigney, Ottawa Sun, October 15/08
"Moving from punk rock roots to French chanson and upbeat accordion seems a stretch, but Marie-Josee Houle is negotiating the musical journey just fine. Disparate musical, travel, educational and career experiences have come together for the Ottawa-based singer-musician in a surprising, cohesive fashion on her recent, second CD, Monsters, recorded in Oslo, Norway, and Ottawa with a mix of Norwegian and Canadian jazz and roots players. Despite such varied ingredients and influences, it's Houle's zest for life that comes out." - Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal, October 10/08
“Houle's stirring defiance is all her own on this debut that is equal parts red velvet, expensive booze, vamp and high drama made alive by a pile of instruments including the accordion, stand-up bass, fiddle, mando and that creamy, cabaret-torch voice.” - Fateema Sayani, Ottawa Citizen, March 17/07
“Though emotionally tangled up in blue, the velvet voiced Houle maintains unwavering focus throughout, playing as if every note, every word, every gasp and breath of the squeezebox literally sustains her” - Steve Baylin, Ottawa XPress, March 22/07
“Houle interprète ses chansons de regret et de vengeance.” - Voir, July 14/07
“The ghost of Paris' Little Sparrow [Edith Piaf] certainly can be heard in Houle's modern-day take on gypsy jazz and French café music” - SEE Magazine, July 26/07
"Houle is a gifted singer and her album is a treasure." - www.collectedsounds.com, May 25/08
"Le répertoire de l’auteure-compositrice-interprète fait dans l’émotion plutôt que dans la virtuosité avec un quelque chose d’envoûtant dans le rythme et un soupçon d’irrévérence dans l’interprétation." Voix Pop, http://www.lavoixpop.com/article-226701-Accordeoniste-du-XXIe-siecle.html, June 25/08
Born in Val d‘Or, Quebec and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Marie-Josée Houle celebrates her dual cultural roots through music. Singing and writing in both English and French, she brings the Townships to the Prairies and beyond. No polkas or foxtrots for this accordion diva; instead, she combines 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 served as a springboard for her solo work.
Her solo debut, Our Lady of Broken Souls, was released in March 2007 to much critical acclaim, including a nomination for Best Folk Album of 2007 by the Ottawa Xpress. The album charted and received solid airplay on local college and community radio stations across the country.
Two-thousand-and-seven saw her play the main stage of festivals in Canada, a few European dates, embark on her first successful cross-country tour and share a stage with other celebrated female artists for a CBC Radio 1 broadcast.
In 2008, Marie-Josée continued to journey across Canada and to Europe. On October 16 2008, Marie-Josée Houle released her sophomore CD, Monsters (which she finished in Oslo, Norway) at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa moments after she was informed that she earned a nomination for Best Folk Album of 2008 by the Ottawa XPress. Monsters continues to chart across Canada and to receive stellar reviews nationally and internationally.
Two-thousand-and-nine promises to be another great year for Marie-Josée Houle, with multiple tours and festivals in Canada and in Europe - including the 10th Annual International Accordion Festival in Vienna - and the rumblings of a new CD.
EVIL FARM CHILDREN
The name may sound like a B-grade drive-in horror flick, but they are a raw and raunchy trio from Canada’s capital with a a growing legion of fans, and reputation for intense stage shows. Their sound is real rock’n’roll, with a roots-rock flavour. The band can easily do a rocking surf instrumental with the fervor of Dick Dale, and, in a heartbeat, shift gears to roll right into a rockin’ rockabilly rave up, or a Stooges influenced, feedback infused, pounding rock’n’roll song.
Since forming in the summer of 2005, this trio has been regularly playing many of Ottawa’s live music venues, as well as in Toronto, Montreal, and several cities in Southern Ontario. They were invited to perform at the 2008 Ottawa Blues Festival, one of the most popular music festivals in
North America. Their original material, as captured in their recordings (see below), matters most, but for their live shows, the band likes to have fun by whipping out some heavily “Evil-ized” versions of songs by the likes of Dick Dale, Black Sabbath, Tom Waits, Deke Dickerson, Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, Link Wray, and, even Alice Cooper.
Evil Farm Children are:
Dave Kerr - guitar and lead vocals. Former bands: DeadBeatDads, WizzleTeeth.
Jeb Bond - drums, background vocals. Former bands: The Restless Virgins, Screaming Bamboo, Fenton Brothers, Purple, Evil Kneivel, Tall (Baton Rouge, LA), Freudhammer.
Janice Fitzsimmons - bass, lead and backing vocals. Former bands: The Ambassadors, Revv Engine.
In the fall of 2006, Evil Farm Children (EFC) released their 5-song CD, Knuckle Duster, available through their MySpace page, and at live shows. In just 5 original songs, the CD demonstrates the band’s range from surf, to country, to psychobilly. The CD charted on both CKCU and CHUO in Ottawa, and was selected as one of the best local releases of 2006 by
several CKCU DJs. The Knuckle Duster CD has received airplay on Hoboken’s independent radio station, WFMU, which broadcasts throughout the New York City area. The title song, "Knuckle Duster", has been included in the soundtrack to the independently produced documentary, "Project Canada" (http://projectcanada.org).
Evil Farm Children II: The Evilling is the latest recording by EFC, and was officially released in the fall of 2008. Of the 9 songs, 8 are originals. The one cover, which is a staple of their live shows, is a surf-rock version of "Hangover", by Canada’s legends of the 70’s, Max Webster. Dave sings lead on "Hangover", as well as "Border Blaster" (an ode to free-form radio), "Booze Can" (about your fave drinking hole), "Brain Buffet" (a zombie love song), & "Straight’n’Narrow" ( a tale of hard times).
Janice sings lead on the haunting revenge ballad, "Valley Justice", and the album is rounded out with three instrumentals. The new album is charting on both CKCU and CHUO in Ottawa, as well as receiving spins on CHRW (London), CHRY (Toronto), CJAM (Windsor), WFMU (Hoboken NJ), and KSER (Everett, WA), among others.
The CD release show for Evil Farm Children II: The Evilling took place in front of a full house in Ottawa’s Dominion Tavern. EFC started the set by playing the new album in its entirety. Special guests Marie-Josee Houle, Slim Reaper (Big Jeezus Truck), Rob Benett (The Bushpilots), Ian Vance (Boom Creek), and Miss Maureen & Gilles Mantha (of Good2Go) were all pulled on to the stage to help finish the night off by joining in for a set of raucous cover tunes. Earlier that same day, EFC performed a short, “unclogged”, in-store set at Sounds Unlikely (5 Arlington St., Ottawa) to help promote the new album.