Dentdelion to Play in Camp Hill, October 2nd

Traditional Québécois music, still enjoyed throughout French Canada, is a style of folk music characterized by lively jigs, reels, and colorful call-and-response songs sung in French. It is generally performed on fiddle and accordion and accompanied by percussive foot tapping. One of the finest practitioners of this style is Claude Méthé, a self-taught fiddler and singer who has been playing and singing traditional Québécois music for over 35 years. After an explosive sold-out performance last season, Claude Méthé returns to the Harrisburg area with his band Dentdelion for a concert to be held 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 2 at the Camp Hill United Methodist Church located at 417 S. 22nd Street. The concert is preceded by a 4:30 pm French-Canadian fiddle workshop taught by Claude and daughter Béatrix, and a potluck dinner at 6 pm. The programs are sponsored by Susquehanna Folk Music Society.

Dentdelion, which was formed in the early 1990s, includes Claude Méthé (fiddle, guitar, vocals) Dana Whittle (guitar, vocals, foot percussion, accordion), and Denise Levac (flute, vocals). The group has been augmented in recent years with the newest generation of Québécois musicians: 16 year old Colin Savoie-Levac (banjo, mandolin, guitar, mandola, foot percussion, vocals) and 14 year old Béatrix Méthé (fiddle, vocals). Both these young people are exceptional musicians who have clearly benefited from living in homes and a community where folk traditions are kept alive. They play regularly together in a group of young musicians called Les Poules à Colin (Colin’s Chicks). As a highlight of the Susquehanna Folk Concert, Colin and Béatrix will play a short set on their own.

Dentdelion’s emphasis is on original music that is still heavily inspired by tradition, with familiar form and delivery. The latest incarnation heads into what is perhaps best described as “folk-trad” territory, strictly due to its newness, but without ever straying far from the essential Québec sound with its omnipresent fiddle, tapping feet, and unique swing. Guitar accompaniment, flute, vocal harmonies, a cappella arrangements — the raw and the refined come together to create a rich sound that is both intimate and energized, seemingly bigger than the sum of its parts but inescapably Québecois.

Dentdelion has performed throughout Canada and the United States and was recently featured at Memoire et Racines, a festival held annually in Joliet, Québec that explores the folk culture of that region. 

Claude and Béatrix Méthé will present a 90-minute French-Canadian fiddle workshop at 4:30 p.m. Tickets for the workshop are $18 general admission, $14 for SFMS members, and $10 for students.

Following a 6 p.m. potluck dinner (bring a covered dish to share; drinks and place settings provided) Méthé and Dentdelion will present a 7:30 p.m. concert. Concert tickets are $20 general admission, $16 SFMS members, and $10 students. (The concert sold out last year, so early purchase of tickets is recommended.) Advance tickets for both the workshop and the concert are available from Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006 or online at www.BrownPaperTickets.com. For more information, visit the Susquehanna Folk Music Society web site at www.sfmsfolk.org.

Written by John Hope and published in the September/October Central Pennsylania Traditions Magazine

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