monthly report 2017

Zach chillin' - thinking about his monthly reports

September 26, 2017

Gombo (Gumbo) is the most typical Louisiana dish.  Comprised of a host of ingredients and derived from many traditions, gombo is the product of and a symbol for the multi-ethnic culture of Louisiana.  

Gombo is Zachary Richard’s 21st studio album in a career spanning 45 years. The songs run the gamut from the festive Louisiana influenced Zydeco Jump / Dans les grands chemins / Catherine, Catherine  / Pop the Gator to the more reflective La ballade de l’exlcu / Au bal du Bataclan.  A passionate student of Louisiana history, Zachary’s songs are inspired by the often difficult and ever compelling history of the Bayou State : Manchac / Jena Blues.  Devoted to the survival of the French language culture of North America, Zachary pays tribute to far flung French communities : La ballade du Irving Whale (Les Îles de la Madeleine) La ballade d’Émile Benoît (Newfoundland) La Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan).   There are love songs: Sweet little darling of mine / Somebody calling and a song which examines the nature of romantic love : It might be love.  There are two remarkable duets : Catherine, Catherine, written and performed with the remarkable Québec singer Robert Charlebois and the magnificent anthem of hope Fais briller ta lumière, performed with African super-star Angélique Kidjo. 

Co-produced by New Orleans legend David Toraknowsky, Gombo features a host of fantastic musicians including guitarists Roddie Romero, Shane Theriot and Rick Haworth and the one and only Francis Covan on fiddle and accordion.  A tribute to the multi-ethnic culture of Louisiana, Gombo is an emotional voyage into the passionate universe of one of North America’s most brilliant songwriters.  

June 17, 2017

Taking a few days off from recording to recharge the batteries.  I will be back in studio on June 29 with Francis Covan: fiddle and accordion.  On the road for a few shows with my friend Florent Vollant and Maten:  Samuel Pinette, Mathieu McKenzie, Kim Fontaine and Louis-Philippe Boisvin.  Here is a clip of a rehearsal featuring also André Lachane, Rachel Doré and Réjean Bouchard.  The song is called Nikanu and is a song of thanks to the ancestors.  Thanks for having hauled the sled.


May 26, 2017

Chers amis, the first round is finished.  I have finished the first vocal pass and have begun compiling the vocals.  Now we begin decorating the cake.  Headed to Louisiana where I will be working with my old friend, Tony Daigle, at ComoLand Studio.  We will be recording Roddie Romero on guitar and accordion in the next few days.  And Kevin Wimmer on fiddle.  The ship has sailed.  Now we just have to keep the eye on the prize.  

May 19, 2017

Friday 19 May, 2017 / Studio MixArt, Notre Dame de Grâce.   After an intense week, we are wrapping up the basic tracks.  Thanks to the rhythm section :  Justin Allard (drums), Graham Robinson (bass), Jeff Smallwood (guitar).  Eleven songs in the box :  Zydeco Jump  /Pop the Gator  / Dans les Grands Chemins  / La Ballade d’Émile Benoit /Le Bal du Bataclan / Catherine, Catherine / Somebody Calling  / Jena Blues  / It Might be love / Manchac / La Ballade du Irving Whale.    And more to come.  Next week we start with the vocals.  

May 15, 2017

Plane from New Orleans is delayed.  At the airport at 2 AM.  Which makes for a slow start this Monday morning.  Lunch at Dunn’s on the way to Studio Mixart, which slows things down even more.  In the saddle with an hour dely.  Nothing surprising.  Just like the first day of school, it takes a while to settle in.  Takes a while.

 We move the guitar around, trying different spots and finally find the right one.  Which eats up more time.  First song : Zydeco Jump.  I had recorded it in 1992 on Snake Bite Love.  But I was never really satisfied with the recording and I claim the right to correct the errors of my youth !

 It always takes time before we could get it right, but it finally came together and we were able to put another song in the pocket :  Les Grands Chemins.  Song inspired by the traditional zydeco style of John Delafosse.  Like a hot knife in butter.  We find the groove and launch into a third song.  Thai take out for dinner around the table with the boys in the band.  Studio life.  

For photos visit Face Book. 

May 7, 2017

Chers amis,  From this blog page, you will be able to follow the progress of Album #21.  Recording will begin in Montreal at Studio Mixart on May 15, 2017.  Please stay tuned as I keep you posted on the progress of my new studio album project.  And thanks to all of you who contributed to making the crowd fund a success, with financing at 150%.  

March 17, 2017