Marianne Girard Resume
| Marianne Girard: She Grabs You
By the Soul and Won't Let Go
Marianne Girard seems to have forgotten to notice all the barriers and obstacles artists face. Serious aficionados of the well crafted tune have always favoured her. With her new CD release 'Pirate Days', a new and wider audience beckons.
Girard's siren call of exceptional folk purity, along with her distinctive laser-like focus on newly explored emotional truths, conspire together to produce a gasp of recognition to an unsuspecting listener.
Born to a post-war French/Irish Catholic family of 12, and raised in rural southwestern Ontario, Canada, she left home at 16 and found herself in Nashville. It wasn't this city of rhinestone cowboys that compelled her to stay; it was the Smokey Mountains in eastern Tennessee, where the deep history beckoned from every rock and tree. Marianne emerged one year later as a journey woman of self expression. And this journey has since taken her from one woman shows in Bistros and small stages, to festivals and concert tours in parts of North America and Europe, bad guitar smashing relationships, recording, motherhood, growth, acceptance and renewal.
Like many women, Marianne spent quiet years bringing up two children. During this time she composed and performed the ceremonial song for the United Nations Peace Conference in 1992, mounted a one-woman show 'The Mad Woman of Basin Street' deemed a 'tour de force' by Toronto Life Magazine, recorded an hour long live show broadcast world-wide on Chicago's CFMT and XM radio Midnight Special. She also brought the healing power of music to rural schools, clinics and native reserves.
From this life well-lived has surfaced a moralistic fiber that is virtually indestructible. Now that her children are grown, she brings a maturity, depth and renewed focus to her new adventures in music.
Her first CD 'In This Town' was released in 2002 and brought her back to the festival circuit in Canada, the US and Ireland. European radio called her 'a Canadian nightingale' and said 'Marianne Girard will melt your heart and move your feet'. And, back home, 'Songs delivered with a lovely, compelling voice that is full of passion'. Les Siemieniuk, Penguin Eggs.
The tunes on Pirate Days, are classic Girard unvelings of life's poignant mysteries: love, loss, injustice, grief, acceptance and ultimate joy. 'The best of me is yet to come around' she writes in Train of Love, with a chorus of adult and children's voices behind her. She tackles ageism and racism in a positive manner that is anything but cloying, destined to be an anthemic sing-along.
Though written about another young girl, 'Amanda on the Train' could almost be Marianne between 16 and 18, 'on the road to kingdom come'. The music bug had bitten and was incurable. The opening track, the lilting 'Silas Mountain' sings of wanting 'diamond skies' and light in her lover's eyes. It underscores the ongoing sensual and earthy tone, backed by some of Canada's top players. There are rich layers of sound and meaning in this sophomore recording.
And, of course, 'Pirate Days', an unrepentant, clear-eyed view of her younger, wild days, and acceptance of the risks that come with 'freedom'.
I've had my pirate days
And my bandit ways
As good as any man
And under gypsy skies
Let my hair tumble down to lie
With the very best of them
There is a restless urgency about this Jean D'Arc of song, and there is the lingering scent of apple trees and tobacco fields in her songs. She is hooked on inspiration and expression to the point that, despite setbacks, and despite every obstacle, there is no other life for her. And it is a life she steadfastly continues to share with her audience, without apology or regret.
This is only the beginning for Marianne. Unlike the sirens of myth, there are no rocks on the shore where she will take you, but an invitation to share her own shipwrecks and triumphs.
Yes, Marianne, we want more.
vocal, guitar, mandola
accompanist - guitar, vocal
Discography - www.cdbaby.com/all/mariannegirard
CD - PIRATE DAYS - May 2009
IN THIS TOWN - 2002
WHEN IT HURTS - LP - 1982
all tracks streamed through CD Baby download
Updated: August 31, 2009
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