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Prog Folk • France

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Gilles Servat biography
Gilles Servat was born on February 1, 1945 in Tarbes, France, but when he was just a toddler the family returned to his parents' home town of Nantes, on the edge of Brittany. Initially a sculptor, artist and puppet maker, at the dawn of the 1970s he became drawn to the Breton language, meeting up with Tri Yann and being influenced by Alan Stivell. An even bigger impact on his future was through his association with the Breton singer Glenmor, through whose production company he issued his first album in 1972, La Blanche Hermine, which went gold and launched a career which has included about 20 albums, countless festival appearances and collaborations, and a handful of novels. His resonant voice has fronted a style that welcomes progressive influences and strengthens his political views and sheer love of not only the Breton tradition, but those of the British Isles.

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Blanche HermineBlanche Hermine
Universal France 1999
$1.98 (used)
Sur Les Quais De Dublin by Gilles ServatSur Les Quais De Dublin by Gilles Servat
Sony Import
A raok mont kuit - Before leaving by Gilles Servat (1994-08-30)A raok mont kuit - Before leaving by Gilles Servat (1994-08-30)
$19.95 (used)
A Raok Mont KuitA Raok Mont Kuit
Les Albums De La JeunesseLes Albums De La Jeunesse
Je Vous Emporte Dans Mon CoeurJe Vous Emporte Dans Mon Coeur
$53.13 (used)
Imports 2010
$11.58 (used)
Mad in SereniteMad in Serenite
Comme Je Voudrai !Comme Je Voudrai !
Columbia Europe 2000
$6.14 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

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GILLES SERVAT discography

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

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

3.96 | 4 ratings
La Blanche Hermine
4.00 | 2 ratings
Ki Du
4.00 | 1 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
La Liberté brille dans la nuit
4.00 | 1 ratings
Le Pouvoir Des Mots
4.00 | 1 ratings
Chantez La Vie, L'Amour Et La Mort
0.00 | 0 ratings
L'Or et La Cuivre
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hommage à René Guy Cadou
2.00 | 1 ratings
Je Ne Hurlerai Pas Avec Les Loups
0.00 | 0 ratings
La Douleur d'aimer
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mad in Sérénité
4.00 | 1 ratings
L'Albatros fou (with Triskell)
0.00 | 0 ratings
Le Fleuve
0.00 | 0 ratings
A-raok mont kuit
0.00 | 0 ratings
Les albums de la jeunesse
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sur les quais de Dublin
0.00 | 0 ratings
Comme je voudrai!
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sous le ciel de cuivre et d'eau
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ailes et îles
0.00 | 0 ratings
C'est ça qu'on aime vivre avec

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
En Public
0.00 | 0 ratings
Touche pas a la Blanche Hermine
0.00 | 0 ratings
Je vous emporte dans mon coeur

GILLES SERVAT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
15 ans de chansons
0.00 | 0 ratings
Litanies Pour L'an 2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
Best of Gilles Servat : 40 ans de succès

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Blanche Hermine by SERVAT, GILLES album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.96 | 4 ratings

La Blanche Hermine
Gilles Servat Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Growing up Anglophone in the Quebec of the 1970s was a unique experience, with the popular music culture embracing North America and Europe. I was particularly drawn to the folk influences among so many local artists, which amalgamated singer/songwriter protest music with the jigs and reels of Brittany and the Celtic lands in general. Somehow Brittany as a driver of Quebecois folk was not well advertised, for reasons which can be surmised but remain unspoken. Yet I have noted it with each "new" old Breton artist to cross my path, the latest, and perhaps most broadly influential, being GILLES SERVAT.

It is telling that "La Blanche Hermine" is the only one of his 1970s albums to have been made available on CD, and, while I haven't heard the others, I can attest that this is a definitive disk for both Servat and politically aware Breton folk, perhaps setting the bar at a subsequently unattainable level. It's not particularly progressive at first blush, until one considers the adaptation of fairly traditional, albeit thriving melodies, to more modern forms both lyrically and musically, with the lyrical aspects reflecting the mistreatment of the Bretons and their challenge in maintaining dignity and culture. No wonder the style resonated within Quebec at that time. It probably helped that he sings mostly in French, and when not, in Breton.

The title track refers to the white ermine which is the animal symbol of Brittany, and is a hard hitting and unrelenting romp in the manner of a GORDON LIGHTFOOT's "Home from the Forest" meets MOODY BLUES "Gypsy". "An Alarc'h" intersperses distressed monologue in that dramatic French prog tradition, with snare drum backed sung sections. "Les Proletaires" is another scathing indictment of the powers that be and their abuse of the honest worker, but not at the expense of a gorgeous arrangement and haunting tune which ebbs and flows like the labourer's heart. And can this man sing, in a suffusing baritone I can't get enough of, an antidote for winter chill if there ever was one! To strike a match in the darkness, we have "Les Bretons Typiques", more of a sing song, still accompanied by sumptuous 12 string guitars. "Me Zo Gannet" is notable for elegant hammond organ and is more reminiscent of what STIVELL was doing at that time than most of what's here. "Gwerz MaruPont Kallek" is a trad beauty which has been covered by almost everyone including STIVELL and KADWALADYR, the latter with whom he has guested.

"La Blanche Hermine" is a classic endeavour in every sense, and when we consider the worthwhile achievements of the likes of MALICORNE, STIVELL, TRI YANN, and DAN AR BRAZ among many others, the revelation is that Gilles Servat went a step further. He didn't just propel the culture by embracing it, but by giving it an assertive voice that one might choose to love or hate, but was compelled to respect.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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