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Almost a year ago, I wrote a post entitled Country music = Québec.
In that post, I explained how Québec’s music roots have always been connected to a genre of French-language country music.
A couple of people I know (who are from Montréal) said I was nuts when I wrote that post. They told me nobody listens to (French) country music (or any country music). My response: “Perhaps you’re right if you live downtown Montréal, and if you base your entire life around downtown Montréal”.
I told them to just wait for a few months, perhaps a year or so. I told them with the uptick in French-language country singers and it’s resonance / ties with traditional French Canadian music, that I would bet my bottom dollar that we’d see a virtually unknown French-language country artist come to the fore and top the album charts in Québec.
They thought I was crazy…
Well… the writing was on the wall — and guess what! It just happened!
The reality (in Québec an elsewhere) is that
- many people in Québec listen to French-language country music, and
- there can often be a HUGE disconnect between our largest cities and all the rest. You get the sense that this disconnect becomes as wide as the Pacific when it comes to lifestyles and concerns lived by people who reside in the downtown cores of our larger cities, and all the rest (even the suburbs for that matter).
As usual, the rest of Québec, and the rest of Canada do not all live in downtown Montréal, Toronto, or Vancouver (on that note, one federal party leader in particular better learn this little factoid very fast, or his party will be heading straight down the tubes in October – ok, ok… no more political commentaries, I’ll behave now).
This post will make my point, and will emphasize just how wide that gulf can be (between the city – particularly the city cores — and all the rest).
Guylaine Tanguay is a French-language country singer, from the Saguenay region in Québec – particularly from Dolbeau (I actually wrote a post on her hometown last winter, which you can read by clicking HERE… (Boy… even I am surprised that I wrote a post on Dolbeau! I guess I have covered some territory with his blog after all).
Her new album, Inspiration, was one of the best-selling albums in Québec of the entire summer!
Yet, ask someone in Montréal (particularly downtown Montréal), or downtown Québec City, or downtown Ottawa (which I consider within the “Québec urban sphere of influence”) who she is, and you’ll just get blank stares.
But go elsewhere, such as the smaller cities around the province, and you’ll find a good deal of people who know who she is (you don’t even have to go very far… sometimes just as far as the suburbs such as St-Eustache, Gatineau, or Beauport).
Her fifth country music album, Inspiration Country, came out on June 16th,
All Tanguay has done was a little advertising on television, given a few concerts, and the crowds AND SALES came’a flock’in!
Here is the TV advertisement for her latest album:
Province-wide, her album has even bumped out the “Clique’s Montréal’s downtown darlings”, such as Jean Leloup and Yoan, from the top spots.
This little whirlwind named Guylaine Tanguay has the (sometimes quite stuffy) “downtown Montréal cultural class” (informally known as the “Clique du Plateau”) scratching their heads in disbelief (and me shaking my head at their disconnect from the rest of the province). I actually wrote a post on the Clique du Plateau way back when (click the link).
Whether or not you think a true media Clique exists (ie: media which all beats the same drum in central Montréal), is a question of debate, impressions, and person viewpoints. Regardless of my own viewpoints, it’s not for me to categorically say if it does or doesn’t exist (there are people with opinions all over the place, and grey comes in all shades).
However, if the Clique were to describe a general “downtown attitude” in any big city, then you could perhaps say it’s a snobby attitude, in the sense that if related media feels “their own” media circles were not the ones to launch or promote someone’s career, or if “they” were not the ones to invite an artist to their TV or downtown radio programs, then it the music must be crap (sigh x 10).
Guylaine Tanguay is one person who could be said to have proved them wrong – and in no small way.
You can check out her website at http://www.guylainetanguay.ca/
Here is an article by a “shocked” and baffled Radio-Canada (hahaha!! Love it!!!) — Click HERE.
Here is an article by the Courier de Laval (from the suburbs of Montréal, so it comes with less shock and horror than articles written from downtown Montréal – hahaha!!!). Click HERE.
You can purchase her hit album online at Archambeault at the following link: http://boutique.archambault.ca/divertissement/Guylaine-Tanguay
If you wish to purchase single songs off her album (on platforms such as iTunes), they are
- Jusqu’au bout du monde
- Crazy Arms / Dans tes brasIsland In the Stream (avec Mario Pelchat)
- Thank God I’m a Country Girl
- Je voudrais être Madelinot
- Que la lune est belle ce soir (avec Julie Daraîche)
- Me and Bobby McGee
- La fête en AcadieCrazy
- Je voudrais voir la mer (avec Michel Rivard)
- Embarque ma belle (avec Christian-Marc Gendron)
- You Are My Sunshine (avec Camille Tanguay)
P.S. Although my roots are from rural areas (I’m just as comfortable in a pair of shit-kickers as I am sneakers), I have nonetheless lived in some of the largest cities around the world and Canada. I certainly like many aspects of the larger city “downtown” lifestyles (otherwise I wouldn’t live on a subway line with a direct connection downtown). But as you can see from the above post, sometimes the snobby “downtown attitude” irks me. I have spent a LOT of time in and around Montréal’s downtown. It’s where many friends live. But like any city, Montréal’s downtown core also has its fair share of this attitude I’m referring to. Yet, like anything in life, you take the good with the bad – and there is still far more good than bad 🙂