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GAROLOU

Prog Folk • Canada


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Garolou biography
GAROLOU was a pan-Eastern Canadian group with members from Ontario thru to the Maritimes. Its origins could be traced to Franco Ontarian brothers Marc and Michel Lalonde who were living in Prince Edward Island in 1974 and part of a theatre troupe. Their musical career began humbly as a folk duo, but their interests and their popularity resulted in expansion to a full rock ensemble including keyboards, bass and drums, performing revved up and re-interpreted folk songs with plenty of progressive flourishes, Canada's answer to STEELEYE SPAN if you will.


The group was ultimately based in Quebec, partly because a studio in the Laurentian Mountains was kind enough to provide free time to produce their first recording, even without any label signing, which eventually came. Their history is a turbulent one. While personnel changes were frequent and almost de rigueur for the communal lifestyles of the period, Garolou survived the indignity of a name change from their original LOUGAROU moniker, the result of a threatened lawsuit from a folk dance troupe with a very similar name. The original name is a contraction of the French word for werewolf, while Garolou is a play on words at several levels, perhaps at least one being a slight at the dance troupe. One interpretation is "Beware the wolf", while another is "Boy of the Wolf".


Their first two albums, Lougarou (1976) and Garolou (1978), are widely regarded as their best and sold well. The 80s brought forth Romanceros (1980), which received critical acclaim, and Centre-ville (1982), but by then the golden era of Quebecois folk had withered, and the group called it a day in 1983.


In 1993 the band re-united and has performed on and off since then. Rekindled interest resulted in re-releases of the four albums packaged as 2 two-fers, a live album, and a 1999 studio recording, all testament to the band's enduring appeal.

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Buy GAROLOU Music


Garolou (Tableau D'hier) Vol.1Garolou (Tableau D'hier) Vol.1
Single · Import
Francor 2009
Audio CD$10.16
$35.66 (used)
ReunionReunion
Import
Unidisc Music 2003
Audio CD$9.99
$26.81 (used)
Memoire ViveMemoire Vive
Import
Imports 2009
Audio CD$15.86
GarolouGarolou
London
Vinyl$20.00 (used)
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GAROLOU Reunion (CD 1997) 15 Songs Live au Theatre de la Ville de Longueuil US $22.49 Buy It Now 3 days
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GAROLOU discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GAROLOU top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.11 | 7 ratings
Lougarou
1976
3.55 | 9 ratings
Garolou
1978
3.04 | 5 ratings
Romancero
1980
2.04 | 6 ratings
Centre-Ville
1982
3.00 | 5 ratings
Memoire Vive
1999

GAROLOU Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Reunion
1995

GAROLOU Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GAROLOU Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Profil
1981
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tableaux d'hier vol 1
1991
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tableaux d'hier vol 2
1991

GAROLOU Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

GAROLOU Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lougarou by GAROLOU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.11 | 7 ratings

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Lougarou
Garolou Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The Quebec Folk Rock scene seems endless and Lougarou were another band in the list, found in 1974 by brothers Marc Lalonde (bass, vocals) and Michel Lalonde (acoustic guitar, vocals) and featuring also drummer Michel "Stan" Deguire, guitarist George Antoniak and keyboardist Steven Naylor.Lougarou were lucky enough to use Le Studio in Morin Heighs during its off-hours and the band finally signed a contract with Canadian label London Records, releasing the self-titled debut in 1976.

Unlike the mass of Quebec Folk groups using traditional instruments, Lougarou were standing on the opposite side, having a rather rockier but still very delicate and warm sound, mainly to the nice use of synths and piano by Steven Naylor.Their style contained inspirations from Heavy Rock, Classical Music and Progressive Rock, all mixed with some good folky tunes coming out of the band's musical influences and listened both on the instrumental parts and the multi-vocal arrangements.The album certainly lacks some killer tracks or even trully adventurous arrangements with the band focusing more on producing elegant sounds and folky memorable choruses, but there are also some great guitar leads, beautiful piano lines as well as some light and interesting interplays to be found.Especially the keyboard/piano work by Naylor is excellent with a bit virtuosic solos and somewhat intricate passages.

This is certainly the definition of Folk Rock.Catchy folky vibes blended with the rock dynamics next to some evident prog stylings.Nice album indeed and warmly recommended.

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 Centre-Ville by GAROLOU album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.04 | 6 ratings

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Centre-Ville
Garolou Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars Although Garolou hasn't had anymore line-up change, the least we cab say is that Centre-Ville definitely not made of the same wood than its three predecessors, but somehow it continues the modernization process that Romancero started. "Graced" with a rather ugly and on-the-run window-shopping photo, the album has few folk influences and gives a very soft AOR feel that most 70's band were

Opening on a reggaeish Ouvres la Porte, the album doesn't star well, and even after a long intro the follow-up Je Deviens Fou sounds like Steely Dan meeting 10 CC. Ditto for Aller- Retour (return trip) and Terre with its 6 minutes but hardly a space for instruments, except in the repetitive finale where they barely dare in the fade-out. The flipside does not offer much more with radio-friendly Parles-Moi or the upbeat but uninteresting Je Savais Pas, the album closing on the would-be title track, a soppy jazz ballad of no interest whatsoever.

Best avoided really, this fourth album will be Garolou's last oeuvre, which by 82 standard was a mainstream product of its time, trying to break out the airwaves to their material, but let's face it, if it didn't with the more original early stuff, it wasn't going to do it with the sunk-in-the- mass AOR

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 Romancero by GAROLOU album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.04 | 5 ratings

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Romancero
Garolou Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Garolou's third album sees another personnel change, ex-newcoming second guitarist Baudouin did not hang around and he was replaced by Gaston Gagnon. Romancero is the logical continuity of the group's electric folk rock adaptation, but there is a modern twist to it. Even if the artwork doesn't imply it with its XIXth Century-type photo, the group does modernize their sounds, as if Tull had moved from SFTW to TB&TB

Opening on the Tull-sounding (HH-era) Mariage Anglais, the following Sur Le Bout Du Pont presents some disputable synths sounds, with an almost new-wave rhythm, sign of the times (we are now in late 79- early 80). The almost 6-mins Nicholas is probably the most Tull- sounding track, yet sports a medieval fell conveyed through the opening riff. Unfortunately Dans Paris is a bit like MOR Chanson Française with a sax intervention courtesy of guest Wiseman, and Limonade is one of those cliché jigs with guest violinist brother Robert Lalonde. Not a very good opening and unfocused side

The flipside returns to Tull realm with Garçon, but it's really up to D'Où Reviens-Tu Mon Fils with its six minutes of quiet ambiances and slow build-up leading to finally some real interplay between the members. This track is easily the highlight of the album with Nicholas a distant second, just before the excellent follow-up dramatic Le Condamné, which stops with the firing squad doing its deed. The album finishes with two average tracks, but it's clear that the flipside does save Romancero from sinking.

Not exactly living up to its two older siblings, Romancero still has enough arguments to be presented as a Garolou classic album, something that will not be possible to its successor Centre Ville. Not essential, but if you liked the first two?..

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 Garolou by GAROLOU album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.55 | 9 ratings

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Garolou
Garolou Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

With the name change Lougarou to Garolou, the group also changed of personnel as Antoniak and Naylor got replaced by more French-sounding Guay and Beaudouin. With a very Republican artwork, something tells me that Garolou now that it was adopted as a Quebecois band, they tried for the French market, and let's face it this album was good enough to crack the market if it had its chance. Musically the album takes over from the progressive folk rock that mixed so well acoustic and electric folk of the debut album and develops it to a mainly progressive rock where folk influences still dominates.

Opening on the electric piano introduction of Aux Illinois, Garolou almost sounds like Focus with added vocals until the Tull-guitar enters and gives it a vigorous shake. Complainte is one of those pure prog rock tracks, where the heavy synth layers give the track a very modern flavour, although the texts are about the French revolution. The following Depart returns to trad folk, depicting southbound immigration from the great whit north. This track featu-ures some violin from another Lalonde, Robert, this time. Interesting but predictable. Habillé En Plumes (dressed in feathers) is really in the realm of Tull's Songs From The Wood, except that it lets its middle section to keyboards, before letting the guitars a short escape, before returning to the verse and chorus. Then comes the ultra-standard Alouette to close up.

The flipside is a bit of a surprise at first, returning with the ultra-cliché Victoria, so unarranged that it ruins the album's cohesiveness, but since the following Bonaparte jig, where the Quebecois settle their count for abandoning them (by selling Louisiana to the Americans for his European campaigns)??Wing-Tra-La is more trad folk, this time close to Malicorne or la Bamboche. But clearly the album was waiting for the closing Germaine and its 10-mins, which starts as a merry song slowly building up to a furious Tull track in its middle section. The track resumes la bit then seems to die, before a series of dramatic bursts bring on a repetitive bur crescedoing synth finale

This second album is probably the one progheads will prefer, and it's easy to see why, despite the middle of the album's folk's folk heart. While I don't consider any of Garolou's album essential, the first three all have arguments and picking this album up, you shouldn't have any trouble enjoying an album like this..

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 Lougarou by GAROLOU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.11 | 7 ratings

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Lougarou
Garolou Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Lead by the North-Ontarian Lalonde brothers, this group got often considered as Québecois, especially after their name change that came along with their second album, but distinctly Lougarou was Ontarian. Indeed Lougarou came with CANO from North Ontario and presented a light progressive folk, more like an electrified French (yes from France) folk, but stretching sometimes to Acadian folk as well. Hiding behind a superb artwork, this first album mixes straight traditional folk to Tull-ified folk rock soundscapes, so there is a very strong work in the arrangement . Opening on the acoustic folk Dis-Moi, Charles, the album veers on the great Tull-ish Belle Françoise, while the piano-led Partance arte both fully electrified folk rock with plenty of electric guitar works from both Michel and Antoniak, both tracks just under six minutes, allowing plenty of space for intricate musical interplay. The tracks finishing side 1 are also full of charm, but shorter, but La Vendée has an impressive vocal delivery. You could imagine yourself on a Malicorne album with such tracks.

The flipside opens with the upbeat Hirondelle, and the album continues like the other side of the wax, but the treatment of La Claire Fontaine (extended to 7-minutes) is a pure gem of mixing acoustic and electric music together, but has plenty of dramatics as well, including some excellent guitar works. The following Eclipse can't possibly compete with that, but still manages its

While I wouldn't call any of Garolou's album essential prog folk rock, this debut album and its two successors are definitely worth hearing, because they represent another way modernising folk music.

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 Garolou by GAROLOU album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.55 | 9 ratings

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Garolou
Garolou Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars The late 70s represented a singular moment in French Canada, particularly the province of Quebec. A government had been elected whose primary purpose was to achieve independent nation status for the province, and a population long suppressed by both the Catholic church and the English business elite was feeling its oats. The half decade period leading up to and subsequent to the 1976 election victory was also a windfall for the arts. Since we are discussing music here, it was also the golden era for Quebecois popular music, particularly that which unearthed its rich roots and only fortified them in the process. I consider GAROLOU to have been in the forefront of this stampede, even if their two founders were from Ontario, and I'm certainly not alone, for their enthusiastic if unlikely blend of traditional folk music and symphonic progressive rock went gold for this, their second self-titled album (although each had a different name).

The album kicks off with the moody and potent "Aux Illinois", with its theme of lust and deceit. The quiet first verse is accompanied by simple electric piano with a slight jazzy feel, but raucous rhythm guitars quickly join in and turns this into perhaps the heaviest cut on the disc, and one of its best. This juxtaposition of celtic and rock and roll styles is handled with panache. The most popular track on FM radio was "La complainte du marechal Biron", and its suspenseful tale of the king's right hand man who came to Paris to "play with the queen" continues the theme of lovers and friends turning against each other. Musically this is also a gem, with fine acoustic guitar throughout and string synths, which seemed to be Garolou's keyboard of choice, but not overdone. The band switches to the more blatantly historical for "Le Depart pour les etats", a touching tale of Canadian working families seeking employment and prosperity in the USA during the early Industrial Revolution only to be taken down a notch and become third class citizens. It features a superb lead guitar solo in the break.

Many other highlights include a breakneck version of "Alouette" which bears little resemblance to the cutesy rhyme that all Quebecers know, Francophone and Anglophone alike, "Wing Tra La", a beautiful acapella number, and of course the overtly progressive 10 minute excursion that is "Germaine", with every device and excess of late 70s progressive rock in one endearing package, and where the string cheese, I mean synthesizers, come closest to melting all over our heroic lovers. Still, it's an ambitious and highly realized work thanks to the band's melodic instincts and the Lalonde brothers' theatrical background.

I cannot possibly be objective about this indulgence that encapsulates my teenage love affair with home grown, old fashioned, and yet thoroughly contemporary rock, but I wouldn't throw you to the werewolves. This is a priceless snapshot of a time and place that are both gone forever.

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Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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