Minstrel of modern times

Jean-François Dubé had not launched a solo album since 2005. “I was waiting to have something to say,” says the singer who was first known in Noir Silence.

Through his plural projects in music (Pete Moss, Magnum Daisy, Black Silence) and his busy family life (he has three children), he has accumulated material, he let the texts mature. When he went into the recording of Ménestrel , self-made twelve titles, he knew it was the right moment.

“When you do group projects, you wear them in groups. It’s different when you propel a record as a singer-songwriter. You are the only one to defend your words. You have to feel solid, that you assume everything, “says the one who returned to live in the Magogoise region a year ago.

To record his new songs, he did not receive any grants. Not serious. He was rich with the presence of the musician friends. The album was born in the pleasure of music. Dubé opted for a clear sound. Without flafla, without synth. Guitars, a keyboard, a bass, percussion. Sometimes a mandolin, dobro, a banjo.

Jeff Dubé wanted a true sound for this album that “represents peace of mind”.

“Because I made the record that I always wanted to hear. He has that musical hue a bit at the John Mellencamp, at the Bruce Springsteen. He has my color. ”

The tower of thatched cottages

A color that is already expressed in the chosen title, Ménestrel , as a nod to this tour of shows on a human scale that the singer-songwriter conducted for two years, while performing in the private houses. A way to reinvent the job a little.

“I thought back to what was happening in the Middle Ages, to the minstrels who wandered around the cottages and offered entertainment in exchange for a meal and a place to sleep. I found that it had a certain kinship with touring life, during which we walk and share our music. Hence the idea of ​​going to make music differently, in people. ”

The exercise was revealing.

“It allowed me to” reconnect “with my audience. To refocus my way of working, by betting on the core of spectators who is faithful to me since my beginnings in the trade. It’s for them that I make songs. ”

They know that the singer-songwriter is not afraid of his opinions.

“I take a stand, I’m engaged, I sometimes put my foot in the mouth, it’s true, but I’m in tune with my values,” says the one who often vilified, on social networks, singing competitions such as Star Academy and The Voice .

“These are programs that have their place. The problem is that they take up all the space. As a result, Quebec’s musical culture revolves around a karaoke competition that often focuses on English-language songs. »

Reinventing the system

Jeff Dubé sighs, is unworthy, but he does not give up.

“The music industry is in crisis. That is true. But we’re talking about the industry, not the music. I, around, I see a bunch of talented artists who have the taste to continue. I think you just have to find ways to reinvent the system. Take other paths to meet the public. ”

Like organizing several launches of record, question of going to meet the fans of all Quebec. After putting his guitar in Abitibi as well as in Beauce, Jeff Dubé closed the round of his launches in Sherbrooke, close to his home.

“I am accompanied by two musicians, Louis Mercier-Beaulieu and Marc Brodeur. We walk in all my repertoire. There are songs from the new album, of course, but we also pick up what was on my first two records and those of Noir Silence. ”

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