New Acadian Classics for Your First East Coast Kitchen Party
From '70s dad rockers 1755 to recent provocateurs Les hôtesses d'Hilaire, these are the Acadian songs you need to know
Published May 19, 2021If you get invited to an East Coast kitchen party, you better be prepared to sing, clap along, or — at the very least — listen to some homegrown tunes. Though there is a plethora of traditional folk music to choose from, some of the most impactful songs in recent memory have already become kitchen party staples, showcasing the pillars of Acadian music's thriving contemporary scene.
Here are the Acadian songs you should know before heading to your first kitchen party, because you're going to want to join in.
"Le monde a bien changé"
1755 are the quintessential source of Acadian dad rock. Taking their name from the initial year of the Acadian deportation by the British, this group were trailblazers in the modern Acadian music scene in the 1970s, trying to make it at a time with little in the way of the government grants that fuel today's independent Canadian musicians. With lyrics written by celebrated Acadian poet Gérald Leblanc, "Le monde a bien changé" ("The World Sure Has Changed") is absolutely inevitable at any Acadian party where someone has brought a guitar, and that's all of them. This song debuted at the 1994 edition of the largest Acadian gathering of all, the World Acadian Congress.
Prolific singer-songwriter Édith Butler and celebrated lyricist Lise Aubut wrote this song to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Paquetville, the small community where Butler grew up. Though it was released in 1979, the popularity of this rollicking country-folk song endures. It was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007 and still spawns countless covers. Édith Butler remains a beloved Acadian icon and she isn't showing any signs of slowing down, with a new album produced by Lisa LeBlanc on the way.
"La ballade de Jean Batailleur"
At a certain point in the night when things are winding down, whoever is playing the guitar will inevitably whip out this classic from Louisiana-born Cajun artist Zachary Richard. Richard's music, which he describes as a mix of Cajun and Zydeco music, has made such an impact north of the border that he was made an honorary member of the Order of Canada in 2009 for his influence in promoting the Acadian identity. This song was notably covered by Star Académie winner Wilfred LeBouthillier in 2003, as well as La Voix winner Josiane Comeau in 2020.
Les Hôtesses d'Hilaire
"Eastbound and Down"
Picture this: you've just walked into a house party in the east end of Moncton, home to many iconic Acadian artists. Everyone is drinking craft beer and wearing trendy, thrifted clothing from the 1970s. You better be ready to shout "EASTBOUND AND DOWN!" when the chorus of this track from alt-rockers Les hôtesses d'Hilaire comes on, because everyone else will. These neo-prog rockers are mostly known for their high-energy shows and lead singer Serge Brideau's outrageous on-stage antics. Notably, he once picked up former New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant bridal carry-style during the 2017 East Coast Music Awards.
George Belliveau feat. Arthur Comeau
"Grand verre de tchekafaire"
On paper, the two artists behind this track could not be more different. George Belliveau is a baseball cap-donning country star with a sound reminiscent of Luke Bryan, while Arthur Comeau is a rapper with an irreverent sense of humour. When you think about it though, this collaboration makes a lot of sense — both hail from iconic Acadian groups, Belliveau from Bois-Joli and Comeau from Radio Radio. Their country rap collab, the title of which translates to "A big glass of something-or-other," has become the ultimate summer jam you're bound to hear at any backyard barbecue.