Montreal, March 10th 2014.
Sometimes you just have to do what you love, and The Paul DesLauriers Band has been busy over the last year doing just that. The trio is made up of virtuoso guitarist and singer Paul DesLauriers and masterful rhythm section Greg Morency on bass and Sam Harrisson on drums.
The self-titled new electric album from these three pillars of the Quebec Blues scene has captured the subtlety and intensity, the unique interplay and excitement they are so well known for. Recorded at Tone Bender Studios in Montreal, the album features seven original songs and three unique re-workings of classics steeped deep in the Blues and simmered in Rock & Roll. The band recorded several live performances in the studio, choosing the best, without artifice or relying on modern technology to “make it right”, resulting in an authentic recording full of spontaneity and an uncanny musical chemistry. It captures the very essence of the band, celebrated for it’s impressive live performances, performing a whole new repertoire.
From the muscular opening chords of “Going Down Slow”, “She Should Be Mine” and the ten-ton drum intro to “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, the band’s passion and dedication shine through. “Labour of Love”, “I Blame You” and the instrumental “Green Stripe” show them at their bluesiest, while the original ballad “Baby Come Home” and their unique version of Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain” show a softer side which still manages to take the listener from tasteful subtlety to explosive abandon.
On a very special night, two very good friends came by and contributed to the album; Juno and multiple Maple Blues Award winners Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk and Steve Strongman. Marriner growls soulful harmonica on the 2 opening tracks, as well as contributing keyboards on two others. Strongman engages in a friendly guitar duel with Paul on “All I Want”, which the two wrote together while waiting for a flight to the North Pole (yes…really!).
The album culminates with the band’s signature version of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” which turns the rockabilly classic into a virtual psychedelic voyage where the musical alchemy hits its peak.
The power trio is part of Canada’s musical elite. Paul DesLauriers is the Winner of 2 Maple Blues Awards in 2014, including Guitarist of the Year. Sam Harrisson is a two-time Maple Blues Award Drummer of the year nominee as well. Along with Greg Morency, collectively, they have won 10 Quebec Lys Blues Awards. In June 2013 they released Enter The Gate with sitar maestro Anwar Khurshid, a unique acoustic meeting between the Blues and Indian Classical music. The group won the “Best In Festival” award after their performance at the Tremblant International Blues Festival in July 2013.
Montréal, le 10 mars 2014
Parfois, il faut suivre notre passion et c'est exactement ce que le Paul DesLauriers Band a fait depuis la dernière année. Le trio est composé du guitariste virtuose et chanteur Paul DesLauriers, entouré des non moins virtuoses Greg Morency à la basse et Sam Harrisson à la batterie. Ces trois piliers de la scène blues québécoise reconnus pour leur interaction musicale unique nous offrent leur plus récent album électrique éponyme mariant puissance, subtilité et passion.
Enregistré au Studio Tone Bender à Montréal, ce nouvel album nous offre sept chansons originales et trois reprises uniques de classiques trempées dans le Blues et mijotées dans le Rock & Roll. Le groupe a choisi d’enregistrer plusieurs performances « live » en studio pour en sélectionner que les meilleures, sans artifice et sans s’appuyer sur la technologie moderne pour « arranger les choses », ce qui en fait un album authentique, spontané, empreint d'une complicité musicale rarement égalée. Il vient capter l’essence même du groupe reconnu pour ses prouesses en spectacle, avec un tout nouveau répertoire.
Que ce soit dans les premiers accords musclés de Going Down Slow, de ceux de She Should Be Mine ou de la puissante intro de batterie de Nobody’s Fault But Mine, on sent l'ardeur et la passion qui habite le groupe. On retrouve le côté plus « bluesy » de celui-ci dans les pièces telles que Labour of Love, I Blame You et la pièce instrumentale Green Stripe. La ballade originale Baby Come Home et la version unique de Love In Vain de Robert Johnson nous dévoilent le côté plus sensible et dynamique de ce trio.
Lors d’une soirée bien spéciale, deux très bons amis sont venus contribuer à l'album, soit Steve Marinner du groupe MonkeyJunk et Steve Strongman, chacun gagnants de Prix Juno et multiples Maple Blues Awards. Marriner les accompagne à l’harmonica sur les deux titres d'ouverture, en plus de jouer du clavier sur deux autres pièces de l’album. Strongman s'engage dans un duel de guitare amical avec Paul sur All I Want, chanson que les deux ont composé ensemble en attendant un vol vers le Pôle Nord (sans blague!). L'album se termine avec l’interprétation remarquable du groupe de la chanson Not Fade Away de Buddy Holly. Ce classique de rockabilly se transforme en un véritable voyage psychédélique où l'alchimie musicale est à son apogée.
Ce “power trio” fait partie de l'élite musicale canadienne. Paul DesLauriers est gagnant de 2 Maple Blues Awards en 2014, dont celui de Guitariste de l'année. Sam Harrisson fut nominé deux années de suite Batteur de l’année également aux Maple Blues Awards. Collectivement, le groupe a remporté pas moins de 10 prix Lys Blues au Québec. En juin 2013 , ils ont lancé l’album “Enter The Gate” avec le virtuose du sitar Anwar Khurshid. Une rencontre acoustique fascinante entre le blues et la musique classique indienne. Le groupe a d'ailleurs remporté le prix "Coup de coeur" lors de leur prestation au Festival international du blues de Tremblant en juillet 2013.
Paul DesLauriers wins Guitarist of the Year at the 2014 Maple Blues Awards
(January 20, 2014) Toronto, ON -- Internationally renowned Canadian Blues Artists from Coast-to-Coast were honoured by their peers at the 17th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala in Toronto last night as a full house of blues lovers gathered to celebrate Canadian blues at Koerner Hall.
Cornwall's Paul Deslauriers : Canada's Top Blues Guitarist
Cornwall Ontario - Cornwall's Paul Deslauriers was recognized this week as Canada's top blues guitar player at the 17th Annual Maple Blues Awards ceremony in Toronto. It was not the only accolade sent Mr. Deslaurier's way that night: he and long-time collaborator Dawn Tyler Watson were also voted Best Acoustic Act.
"I am overwhelmed and still in shock!" said Mr. Deslauriers. "BIG thanks to the Toronto Blues Society for putting on such a wonderful gala at Koerner Hall"
The Maple Blues Awards is Canada’s national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field. Award nominees were selected by a distinguished panel of some 50 blues experts, and winnners for most awards were selected by blues fans across the country.
A virtuoso on both electric and acoustic guitars, Cornwall native Paul Deslauriers has had a diverse and accomplished career. He studied classical violin at an early age before turning to the guitar when he was 10. An early and continuing inspiration was Rod Robillard, a fixture on the Cornwall music scene.
"Rod was THE guitar guy in town and a mentor to most of us," says Mr. Deslauriers. "He sat in with the band when we played Cornwall a few months ago. It was a great moment."
Mr. Deslauriers graduated La Citadaelle high school and then left Cornwall at the age of 18 to study music at McGill University. He soon gained acclaim in the 1990s as a founding member of Black Cat Bone, deemed by many critics at the time to be “one of Canada’s hottest blues-rock bands.” He has been called upon to share his guitar and vocal talents on tour with the likes of The Respectables, Amanda Marshall, France D’amour, Garou and Nicola Ciccone, to name only a few.
"Music is about learning and respect," says Mr. Deslauriers. "I come from an improvisational background and so you learn to be ready at all times to adapt to the other artists on stage."
For the last several years he has teamed with singer/songwriter Dawn Tyler Watson, one of Canada's most accomoplished blues musicians. Their first album, En Duo (2007), was released to rave reviews. From Moscow and the Big Easy to the North Pole, they have enjoyed sold-out live performances and have also opened for artists such as Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks and Bruce Cockburn. Their sophomore album Southland (2013) saw them revisiting their own brand of feel-good, back porch style music with a few new twists.
Mr. Deslauriers has also released three solo records: Limited Edition EP (2003), Ripping into the Red (2006) and Left's Alright (2013).
"Deslauriers really knows how to grab your ears from note one," said Michael Molenda, Editor in Chief of Guitar Player Magazine. "He's also a gifted songwriter and vocalist, and his solos, especially the slide lines, are short, but thrilling!"
Last year, Mr. Deslauriers teamed up with talented sitarist Anwar Khurshid for a fascinating and unique musical meeting between the Blues and Indian Classical music. The result is the new album entitled Enter The Gate (2013), a true “East meets West” collaboration.
"Music has the ability to overcome generational and cultural barriers," says Mr. Deslauriers. "It connects us all."
If last year seemed a busy one for Mr. Deslauriers, he certainly shows no signs of slowing down. A new Paul Deslauriers Band album has been mastered and is due out in early 2014. A CD Release party is scheduled for the Rainbow Bistro in Ottawa on Saturday March 15th. That show will be followed up with a date in Cornwall.
“I have been very lucky. I get to play, record and produce music and make a living out of it,” says Mr. Deslauriers.