Sunfest Presents Bon Débarras with special guest Andrew McPherson

Friday, May 26, 2017
7:00 PM (Doors Open),8:00 PM (Show Starts)
Ticket Price: 
$25.00 Advance / $30.00 Door + service charges

Sunfest Presents Bon Débarras with Andrew McPherson



Bon Débarras delivers a foot‐stomping party through its collaboration between three superlative Montreal musicians. Dominic Desrochers is a passionate singer and step dancer who also plays banjo, guitar and washboard. Jean‐François Dumas plays a variety of stringed instruments and also specializes in podorythmie – a popular style of French percussion that requires only feet and the floor. Rounding out the ensemble is virtuoso Marie‐Pierre Lecault on violin, viola and vocals. Together, they are a high‐powered trio melding traditional Québécois folk music and global influences, which exude fun and inventive energy.

As Colin Maclean of the Edmonton Sun put it: “You leave a Bon Débarras show with a goofy smile on your face and a spring in your step.”

The French phrase “Bon Débarras” has a double meaning. One is ‘good riddance’: getting rid of sorrow, anger and negative energy.  The other is ‘a place to keep old stuff you don’t want to get rid of’, and as Dumas explains: “We are like a storage closet where we can go and find traditional influences and inspiration, which often grow in value over time.”

Bon Débarras offers the perfect antidote to Trump’s proposed wall. “Traditional French‐Canadian music was inspired by immigration—the old immigration, with Irish music, Scottish music, English music, and music from France, too,” stresses Desrochers. “And today the immigration’s still going on, with African and Latin American people, people from around the world.  So, we’re inspired by all these cultures, and want to integrate them into our culture.”


After making their TD Sunfest debut in 2015, Bon Débarras are back in London to support their third album En panne de silence (a shortage of silence). This new opus of original compositions burns with contagious energy.  It is infused with urban beats and strong First Nations roots, complementing the band’s debt to the rich traditions of French‐speaking America and rural Quebec.  Yves Bernard of Le Devoir gives the recording four stars.


Guelph-based producer, remixer and songwriter Andrew McPherson returns to Aeolian Hall under the TD Sunfest banner to launch his 4th solo album, Bardo. Taking a break from Eccodek, his JUNO-nominated world fusion project, “the master soundscaper” (Ottawa Citizen) has crafted a sprawling mix of folk, prog, ambient and rock.  Once again, his silky, commanding baritone guides the material, but on Bardo, the guitars are louder, the grooves thicker and the melodies and lyrics more defined and direct.  The new release plays like musical bookends, with one half favouring lean, visceral arrangements, lyrics and melodies, while the other hypnotizes with trippy atmospherics and dreamier prose.  Bardo speaks from both the heart and the gut, with contributions from musical heavies like Morgan Doctor (Kevin Drew, Andy Kim), Jeff Bird (Cowboy Junkies), Kevin Breit (Norah Jones, KD Lang), Adam Bowman (Eccodek, Alysha Brilla), Marc De Vos (Eccodek, Liquidaires) and Onkar Singh.

“Bardo” is a Tibetan word that means liminal or transitional state, and it perfectly captures Andrew’s current state of mind.  The songwriter explains: “The idea of being an artist feels way more important to me than anything else…My life has been completely disassembled in the last couple of years.  And I’m asking, what is valuable to me now? What am I investing in, and what am I waiting for?”

In a recent article for Guelph Today, writer Rob O’Flanagan describes Bardo as “an eclectic, searching, quite existential, often experimental, painful and piercing” work that explores “the value and nature of human connections – with family members, close friends, or a life partner.”

For his TD Sunfest show, Andrew will be bringing a new 4-piece band to the stage, featuring long-time collaborators and Eccodek bandmates Adam Bowman and Marc De Vos, alongside keyboard whiz and ‘secret weapon’ Thomas Hammerton.  And, as a special treat, the quartet plans on reprising a couple of songs from their 2016 standing-room only David Bowie tribute, paying homage to one of Andrew's most profound musical influences.

The “sonic architect” (Boston Globe) has released seven recordings as part of Eccodek, as well as four solo albums, a film score, and the first CD, Now You Hear Me, for his recently debuted ambient project Peppermoth.  He also leads a busy life as a voice actor, anchoring campaigns for companies like Leon's, Lipton's, Dr Oetker, Becel, HSBC, Nikon, Labatt’s, Toronto Star, Kraft and TD Canada.  And he’s currently the network announcer for HGTV and DIY Network.


In addition, Andrew operates The Monastereo, a full production studio built in 2013 on his property in Guelph, where he oversees both his own work and the many remixes and productions that he guides.

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