It’s where windblown Memrancock in the Northeastern Canadian province of New Brunswick is situated which itself is part of Arcadia which once was a colony named «New France». Not surprisingly, many early inhabitants left this godforsaken place for the sun in the South of the U.S. (and became Cajuns) but others stayed on and even more importantly, a rich musical heritage continued.
A fine champion of just that tradition is on tonight, supported by barnstorming back-up musicians Nicholas LeBlanc, Mathieu LeBlanc, and Andre Belliveau. Menoncle Jason, aka Jason Leblanc who’s a mysterious character, stitched Stetson, Ray Bans and all. An engineer by day and a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter by night this artist turns it on and revs it up with retro-country and outlaw Western. «Ou country retro Chiac» he points out, explaining that «Chiac» is the vernacular Acadian language, French and English interwoven and still spoken in his neighborhood. It’s the idiom in which he pens his lyrics. Incomparable is his sonorous baritone voice and he’s such a gifted guitarist that recurrent references to jazz can be made out. And his songs have a folksy aspect to them, that is, their themes poke fun at his folks in a wickedly humorous way. They’re his unflinching observations about his people’s lives in rough country and expressions of his love for them. Tonight he’ll be introducing «La grosse piastre» (The Big Plate) his brand-new album which follows «Dans son prime». That one featured delightfully off-center ditties like «Rien a boire» (Nothing to drink), «Bear Traps», «A Game of Cards», «Dear Deer», «Viande de Moose» (Moose meat), «Baby Barn» (that’s where Memrancockers make whoopee we presume) and there’s another one titled «Bill de Hydro» in which the cannabis aficionado bemoans the high cost of his pleasure.
Menoncle Jason, live at El Lokal. Music from every corner of the world. But sorry, moose isn’t on the menu tonight.