the past fifteen years, Gowan has witnessed many changes in the music
business. The Canadian pianist/songwriter/singer has himself evolved
from an 80's arena rocker to a 90's intimate one-on-one performer.
"Its a much different way to hear my music. is more the music was conceived
I heard when first wrote it. solo performance can be very revealing.
You put yourself in position of having play for an audience that exposes
every song essential components. songwriter are forced re-encounter
raw ideas and hopefully soul ingredients give life. lyrics get draw
their breath again. troubadour spirit re-awakens back at home."
Solo performances had always been rare for Gowan until the summer of
1996. A national solo tour was the result of a concert in Montreal.
The decision to actually record the live shows evolved in the aftermath
of appearing at the Summerfolk Festival. This experience opened a new
perceived mainly as a pop star, for lack of a better description, I
wondered if people would listen to my songs done in the way that I did
them at that folk festival. It was an amazing response."
Gowan performed twenty concerts in Quebec during the latter half of
1996 and recorded many of them. The result is "Gowan au Quebec", a solo
and very live production. It is just him and his piano revisiting most
of his hit songs of the last fifteen years. These include "Moonlight
Desires", "Strange Animal", and "A Criminal Mind". Having toured througout
Quebec since his earliest days as a professional musician, Gowan felt
it important to record his solo live record there as a response to fan
requests. "For years, fans in Quebec have been requesting that I sing
a song in French. The solo tour marked the first time that I extended
myself to this audience in a different way than I ever have by including
a song which had come directly from the heart of the area. I have seldom
recorded material which I have not written to date, but I wanted to
blend some of the Quebecois musical experience with my own. Every night,
the result was magic. I had to include 'Pour un Instant", a classic
song originally recorded by Harmonium". "Gowan
au Quebec" marks the first time that he has written a song in French
along with Jean-Guy Prince. It is entitled "Stephanie".
of the benefits of these solo performances is the connection with the
audience. As a solo performer, he can respond instantly to fans and
take the music where he senses the crowd wants to go. He also believes
the format gives him more opportunity to re-discover the root of the
this concept, I'm finding the whole motivation of the piece coming back
to me purely in a songwriting sense. Too often, artists want to hold
onto something that's been successful for them and I find that stifling.
I always have to have the sense that it is evolving".
Bob Roper Company