Timothy Luke Dawson
This is the adventure where my lover shows me how to sing, play guitar proper and harmonize, tranforming otherwise simple though solid songs into fancy, colourful vignettes. Two voices, many more instruments, and a lot of past to sift through.
Les Chercheurs d’or
a.k.a “The Gold Diggers`
It starts with a passion for roots music, appalachian folk and deep woods country. Isabeau Valois and François Gagnon have already sung many a blue moon together when drummer Simon Pelletier-Gilbert joins them in 2007. The trio’s sound is acoustic, raw, and to the point: a cross between Quebec song and american swing. It is with this desire to do things the old way, in a romantic and open fashion, that they self-produce the session jaune (yellow session) EP in 2008. By this time violonist Martin Racine has added his well-oiled elbow to the mix, in addition to hard-thumping, fun-loving bassist Cédrik Dessurault. Tour dates come fast and many following the release, and Les Chercheurs d’or are on their way.
The band adds an experienced and precious collaborator in Éric Goulet (Les Chiens, Monsieur Mono) and digs into the production of their first full-length recording, Isabeau et les Chercheurs d’or, released in the automn of 2010. The work continues on the heels of american folk-song with albeit modern and fantastic themes, in addition to a definitely québécois aura of sensuality and humour. Les Chercheurs d’or’s personal and colorful universe stands here next to pieces by Hank Williams, Lou Reed and Townes Van Zandt, and the record is well received with a nomination at l’ADISQ, Quebec’s recording industry.
Two years of heavy touring ensue, and mark a change of personnel in the Gold Diggers’ ranks. Firstly Martin Racine passes the bow to Marie-Christine Roy, who’s flamboyance and multiple world jazz influences bring fresh energy and stage presence to the band. Then in the winter of 2012, Luke Dawson joins as new doublebassist. With his ambiguous experience, being both classically-trained and brought up in Quebec’s vibrant punk-metal scene, comes yet another avenue of exploration. Quickly the new songs reflect a large variety of styles; open forms, rich orchestrations and exotic tone colours abound. Fuelled by life on the road, the band gels around its five members, with everyone contributing to composing and arranging new work. In the meantime, Les Chercheurs d’or’s music has found root abroad. Open to the charms of their « worldy country», english Canada, America, France, Switzerland and Spain greet the band with curiosity and genuine enthousiasm.
The unexpected remains at the heart of any quest. These are five tired yet ambitious musicians who crash back into studio in May of 2013, with a desire to write and record on the spot. Les Chercheurs d’or, second coming, is appropriately set to come out with the colours of October. Mixed under the sun of Los Angeles with renowned engineer Sheldon Gomberg (Ben Harper, Ryan Adams, Rickie Lee Jones, Joseph Arthur, etc.), the album is made of fiction and theatrics, with characters both familiar and far, troubled, strained, yet somehow content. Songs about being on the brink, the sufferings of love, unbridled folly… taking life seriously, for all its laughable drama.
«It’s written we’re here to stay. It’s written we’re here to play.»
Isabeau Valois Voice, banjo, mandolin, guitars
François Gagnon Guitars, voice
Luke «Mr. Dong» Dawson Bass, doublebass, voice