Les Chercheurs d’Or strike gold at District St-Joseph

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

Les Chercheurs d’Or (L-R: Luke Dawson, Marie-Christine Roy (stepping onstage), Isabeau Valois, Pascal Denis (behind Valois) and François Gagnon) played at the Apéros FEQ at the District Saint-Joseph.

Local country combo Les Chercheurs d’Or stuck it rich in the crowded bar of District Saint-Joseph on March 8, as part of the Apéros FEQ (Festival d’Été de Québec) concert series. With their unique sound, this band of five talented musicians was well worth listening to and even more impressive performing live.

Since its beginnings in 2008 in Quebec City, the local band has evolved from a trio to a band of five musicians creating music inspired by bluegrass, Americana and acoustic music from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. They continue to translate English country song lyrics into French, a tradition that was popular in the 1960s.

Les Chercheurs d’Or use electric instruments with a modern twist, as explained by bassist and vocalist Luke Dawson. His bandmates are Isabeau Valois (lead vocals, banjo, guitar and mandolin), François Gagnon (vocals, electric and acoustic guitar), Marie-Christine Roy (violin) and Pascal Denis (drums and vocals).

In October 2017, the group released their third album, Apollo.

Dawson spoke about Les Chercheurs d’Or’s rich history, complete with tours throughout the province, and in France and Switzerland. In the coming year, they have concerts lined up in June and July for the St-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations, Canada Day and other festivals. “We are not on tour per se, but we do have a few shows booked,” said Dawson.

“Every show is a new adventure. When you are on tour and playing four or five times a week, it becomes semi-automatic,” said Dawson. “When you are playing once a month, your reflexes are not as sharp. You become really focused on the music. There is a degree of unexpectedness and improvisation, which can be fun.”

To learn more about Les Chercheurs d’Or and listen to sample tracks, visit leschercheursdor.bandcamp.com.