Grre en famille
Grre en Famille – what a funny name for a group! But in less than three years, this name has become synonymous with a new musical style, acoustic reggae, sometimes approaching ska or, at whim, adding classical or even Gypsy inflections. A fine blend, played by a posse of extraordinary musicians.
Grre began with Gregory Gstalder, a guitarist, singer and prolific lyricist-composer with reggae leanings. In 2010, after recording Regroupement familial, an acoustic album with Fanny and Rob of Blessed Connexion, he settled in Montréal. He then came up with the idea of bringing together musicians who were prepared to share his musical passion.
The family with a unique style
The first to join was Dublin bass player Aidan Courtney. In 2011, they were joined by Catherine Hauw on vocals, Juliette Malgrange on cello and Marina Lançon on violin, injecting a good dose of classical music and femininity to Grre’s reggae. P.-O. Bolduc came in later on percussions and didgeridoo.
Together they recorded two EPs: Démo et des cordes and Welcome to Montreal. There followed tours where they indulged the joy and energy they felt in being part of the same project, each with their own stories, talents and tastes, delighted to share this music.
But life went on, and some members were obliged to leave the group. Catherine headed for Bulgaria, and Aidan for his native Ireland. Fortunately, new members came in: Annie Pelletier on accordion and Tim Hardman on bass. Before Tim arrived, they had just enough time to record Reggae Gipsy, their most recent album, released in February 2013.
On this new work, Grre en Famille achieved what constitutes the essence of its music, going from reggae to ska, from Gypsy to rock, playing with their voices. They brought the audience to boiling point at each of their appearances, giving the best of themselves and their instruments. The audience at the 2013 Syli d’Or 2013 did not go wrong: on May 2, the group won the Syli de Bronze of world music at the Cabaret du Mile End.