One of the surest signs of how bluegrass has worked its way into the cultures of people outside the United States is the composition and performance of music not written in English. There are still bluegrass groups throughout Europe and Japan who do covers of American bluegrass, but many have new music written in their native languages as well.
I encountered a great example on the radio earlier this week when I discovered the Facebook live broadcast of L’after Party Bluegrass Jam, a French language bluegrass radio show on CJSE in Shediac, New Brunswick. Hosted by Jonathan Bouboul, Guy Godin, and Jessy Hebert, this week’s show featured a live, in-studio performance from the band Monroe, based in Moncton.
Members include Richard Bourque on mandolin, Marc Leger on bass, Dominic Cormier on banjo, Matt Brun on guitar, and Matt Hayes on fiddle. In the video below, the band plays a number of classic tunes in English and is also joined by singer Paul Hebert, who is a popular bluegrass artist in eastern Canada.
Jonathan says that there is a very active bluegrass scene in eastern Canada, with several bands performing regularly in the region. In addition to Monroe and Hebert, he mentioned Bluegrass Diamonds, Simply Blue, and True Blue.
For more French language grass, tune in Monday evenings from 8:30-10:00 pm (AST) and join Jonathan, Guy, and Jessy for L’after Party Bluegrass Jam. The station broadcasts over the air at 89.5 in New Moncton, and live streaming online.