Places of Note with Justin Lacroix

Justin Lacroix with David Travers-Smith and Cello Just over a week after the debut of Voyageur on Canada Day 2006, we were in Manitoba for the Winnipeg Folk Festival, where we met Justin Lacroix for the first time in our portrait booth. Since we were going to have a few extra days in Winnipeg, Philippe Mailhot, then director of the St. Boniface Museum - material from which makes up the most real estate of Voyageur as the back, sides, binding, and parts of the neck and rosette - pulled together several local performers for a concert in the chapel at the Museum. That was our second encounter with Justin.

Twelve years on and we finally managed to get together with Justin again - that's him, pictured at left with producer David Travers-Smith and studio dog Cello - to record the second episode of our upcoming podcast, Places of Note. Justin came to Toronto with William Prince (stay tuned for more about William in the near future) as part of a Paris-Paris tour. He opened for William in Paris Ontario and - after a show at the Burdock and a few days kicking around Toronto - he's headed for France where, in many ways, his musical identity was forged. It's also a place where his manager, Nathalie Kleinschmit (who also manages William) has decades of experience so it's promising to be a fruitful journey.

It's always fascinating to put Voyageur into the hands of a musician who has played it in the past. No matter how brief or distant an encounter between player and instrument, there remains a kind of sense memory. So even after twelve years, Justin was able to reflect on the way the sound and feel of the guitar had changed over the years as well as his own development as a player and songwriter. You'll be able to hear the results of their musical reunion soon.

Places of Note is in the early stages of production. We're hoping to have about ten in the can before we start releasing them as a bi-weekly podcast. We'll give you a heads up when the series is set to launch. In the meantime, thanks to Justin, Nathalie, David and the too-lovable Cello, on loan from a travelling neighbour. Thanks also to William Prince for an extraordinary show at the Drake Underground last Friday night. Save travels to Nunavut!

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