The Séguin brothers – Time is on My Side

Robert et Richard

Bob and Richard

I became a teenager in the 60s, at the same time that soul music entered the lexicon of popular music. It was the time of girls, of dances at the Clarence Creek arena and of sweet soul music played by the superb bands of record companies like Atlantic, Muscle Shoals and Stax. Also, music sung by giants like Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and many others of the best singers of the time. For me, it was everything coming out of Stax, the voice of Memphis, and their very influential house band, Booker T. and the MGs.

Roch Tassé

Roch Tassé

The song « Time is on My Side” was first recporded in 1963 by jazz trombonist Kai Winding, who wanted a piece of the pop market. In 1964, there followed Irma Thomas’ R&B version et that of The Rolling Stones, considered as the benchmark recording of the piece.

Our version is a tribute to Stax, especially with the addition of horns, a first for us, played on my MIDI guitar.

Bob Séguin – voice
Richard Séguin – electric guitars, electric bass guitar, MIDI guitar (baritone sax, tenor sax, trumpet), arrangement and background voice
Roch Tassé – drums and background voice

 

Time is on My Side

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The Séguin brothers – Waiting on an Angel

Bob and Richard

Bob and Richard

 

We go back to our roots with this minimalistic interpretation, where Bob’s voice is only accompanied by a guitar and a mandolin.

 

 

 

We’ve chosen “ Waiting on an Angel ”, a song composed by Ben Harper, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose main instrument is a very rare kind of lap slide guitar called a weissenborn, made by Hermann Weissenborn in Los Angeles during the 1920s and 1930s. Harper is the winner of three Grammy Awards and “ Waiting on an Angel ” is taken from his first album, “ Welcome to the Cruel World ”, released in 1994.

Ben Harper et son weissenborn

Ben Harper and his weissenborn

 

 

 

Bob Séguin – voice
Richard Séguin – acoustic guitar, mandolin

 

 

Waiting on an Angel

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The Séguin brothers – You Better Move On

Robert et Richard

Bob and Richard

At the start of the 1960’s, popular music was in a slump. Most of Rock ‘n Roll’s heros were out of commission – Elvis was in the Army, Chuck Berry was in prison for violating the Mann Act and Little Richard quit the devil music and started preaching. Others like Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran had met with untimely deaths. The 1959 “payola” scandal had shown to which point bribery in the North American music industry dictated what music we listened to. Given the racist climate in the USA at the time, most of the music was white and trite.

Roch Tassé

Roch Tassé

During this lull between the first and second waves of Rock ‘n Roll, many black R&B artists were largely ignored in their own country but their records found their way overseas where some young British artists couldn’t get enough of American R&B. Groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Manfred Mann and The Spencer Davis Group embraced the new sounds out of America and cast a spotlight on many black artists that would otherwise have remained unknown. One such artist was Arthur Alexander (1940-1993). Two of his songs, “Soldier of Love” and “Anna (Go To Him)”, were recorded by The Beatles and both The Hollies and The Rolling Stones recorded “You Better Move On.” Here is our version of “You Better Move On”, a tribute to the late great Arthur Alexander.

Arthur Alexander

Arthur Alexander

Bob Séguin: voice
Richard Séguin: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, electric bass
Roch Tassé: drums

 

You Better Move On

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The Séguin brothers – Desolation Row

Robert et Richard

Bob and Richard

Bob Dylan became the voice of the 60s by writing songs about contemporary issues, songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, and ”The Times They Are a-Changin’.” In 1965, Dylan started recording with electric instruments, which completely alienated the folkmusic community, and his lyrics, previously grounded in topical subjects, became increasingly abstract. The release of the albums “Bringing It All Back Home”, “Highway 61 Revisited” (both 1965) and “Blonde On Blonde” (1966) constitute, in my opinion, the most signicant achievement in all of contemporary music.

Roch Tassé

Roch Tassé

“Desolation Row”, taken from “Highway 61 Revisited”, is a representative example of Dylan’s new direction, a dream/nightmare populated by characters from the Bible (Cain and Abel), Shakespeare (Ophelia, Romeo), fairy tales (Cinderella), literature (Quasimodo), legend (Robin Hood) and even reality (Einstein, Bette Davis). As a 15 year-old kid, this was heady stuff indeed and I can easily say it changed my life. My whole perception of the world changed after Dylan.

Bob Séguin: voice
Richard Séguin: acoustic guitar, mandolin, MIDI guitar (upright bass)
Roch Tassé: drums

 

Desolation Row

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The Séguin brothers – Cynical Girl and Everyday

Les frères Séguin

The Séguin brothers

When I was six years old, my brother Gabriel, the musician in our family, couldn’t help but notice that I followed him around like a lap dog every time he played the new rock ‘n roll recordings he brought home from Ottawa. Gabriel showed me how to use the record player and gave me access to his record collection, an act of kindness that changed my life. I loved Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers and Little Richard but I had a soft spot in my heart for Buddy Holly whose great compositions represented the innocence of the era so well. He put together a string of very popular hits like “That’ll Be the Day”, “Peggy Sue”, “Not Fade Away” and “Rave On.” Perhaps my favourite of Holly’s songs was 1957’s “Everyday” with its pervasive sense of time and the notion of the future rushing towards us. This spoke directly to me, a kid who couldn’t wait to grow up.

Buddy Holly died in a plane crash on February 3, 1959 at the age of 22. This tragedy was later elegized by Don McLean in his piece “The Day the Music Died (American Pie).” The Big Bopper and Chicano rock ‘n roll star Ritchie Valens also died in this crash.

Roch Tassé

Roch Tassé

I never thought I would get to relive this time of innocence but in 1982, Marshall Crenshaw came on the scene and the comparisons to Buddy Holly were obvious. Aptly, in the film “La Bamba” about Ritchie Valens’ life and career, Marshall Crenshaw plays the part of Buddy Holly. Crenshaw also had a string of popular hits, my favourite of which is “Cynical Girl.”

This is our tribute to innocence with a medley of Marshall Crenshaw’s “Cynical Girl” and Buddy Holly’s “Everyday.”

 

Bob Séguin – voice
Richard Séguin – acoustic guitars, electric six and 12-string guitars, electric bass
Roch Tassé – drums

 

Cynical Girl – Everyday

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The Séguin brothers – A Satisfied Mind

Les frères Séguin

The Séguin brothers

Songwriting, like many, many things, changed dramatically after the secong world war. Life was suddenly fragile and it no longer made sense to write sugar-coated songs that had no bearing on the real world. The war had brought death into every family, poverty to many others and the ever-present angst of the nuclear age. Several songwriters started writing mature, honest songs about the new world, like Hank Williams did with his anthems to the breakdown of relationships (Your Cheating Heart, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Cold, Cold Heart). It was at that time that “A Satisfied Mind” came to be, a modern masterpiece of songwriting whose lyrics will live throughout the ages.

 

Roch Tassé

Roch Tassé

When I first started talking to my brother about our music project, the first song we considered was “A Satisfied Mind.” It was in the mold of some of Johnny Cash’s great American Recordings that I love so much. The song was written by Joe “Red” Hayes (1926-1973), a fiddler who died on stage, and Jack Rhodes (1908-1968), a professional producer and songwriter inducted posthumously into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. I loved “A Satisfied Mind” the first time I heard it in 1965 on The Byrds first album. The song has also been recorded by Porter Wagoner, who had a no 1 hit with the song in 1955, as well as Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Lucinda Williams, to name but a few.

 

We would like to thank Tom Butterworth for the use of his South Nation Studio during the mixing process.

 

Bob Séguin – vocals
Richard Ségion – acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, MIDI guitar (upright bass)
Roch Tassé – drums

 

A Satisfied Mind

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Newest “lively quotation” from Jean Vanier

Here is a link where you can see the newest “lively quotation” video from Jean Vanier, produced by the Jean Vanier Associatrion with images by Voices and Colors (manu, Marie-Laure Turmel). The music is my 1978 composition “Du monde en ville”, the percussion played by Roch Tassé.
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The Séguin brothers – Le conseil de guerre

Robert et Richard

Bob and Richard

“Le conseil de guerre” (The War Council) is a traditional piece dating back to the Napoleonic Wars. It was discovered by Pierre Bensusan, the brilliant French-Algerian singer-guitarist. In our arrangement, the second part of the instrumental sequence in the middle of the song is another traditional piece called “Douce dame jolie”, which dates back the Middle Ages.

Our version of this piece lasts almost eight minutes. I remember when all pop songs were radio-friendly with a maximum length of three minutes. Bob Dylan was the first to break this barrier with the publication of “Like A Rolling Stone” in 1965, although his own record label (Columbia Records) and several DJs tried to hinder him. But even at six and a half minutes, “Like A Rolling Stone” was too popular to be obstructed and paved the way for artists who wanted to take the required time to express themselves, without the restrictions of the music industry. Soon, we had “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly, which, at seventeen minutes, took up a whole side of a vinyl record.

Roch et son tambour amérindien

Roch and his buffalo drum

On the long list of human stupidity, war is certainly at the top of page one. We’re not the first ones to choose this time of peace to sensitize people to the folly of war – in December 1971, John Lennon released “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” in protest to the Vietnam war. So we wish you, Bob, Roch and myself, a merry Christmas and happiness in the coming year.

Peace on earth. War is over.

Bob Séguin: voice
Richard Séguin: guitars (acoustic, electric, 12-string), banjo, merlin, MIDI guitar (viola, fiddle)
Roch Tassé: drums and percussion

Le conseil de guerre

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The Séguin brothers – Girl from the North Country

Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver.

Gilles Vigneault

Robert et Richard Séguin

Bob and Richard Séguin

 

“Girl from the North Country”, perhaps Dylan’s most romantic composition, was published in 1962 and it spoke to me the first time I heard it. The north has always been special to me – I was born in the middle of a Canadian winter, my brother Bob towards the end of one. I’ve always equated the north with austerity and isolation, it’s people somehow worthier or more principaled. I loved the song so much that I named one of my first compositions “Fille du nord”, the musical representation of an ideal.
 

Dylan’s composition is fast paced, definitely folk music, and features some of his best finger-picking guitar playing. My arrangement is very different, much slower and definitely R&B, a style I’ve always loved.
Roch Tassé

Roch Tassé

 

Bob Séguin – voice
Richard Séguin – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, MIDI guitar (B3 organ)
Roch Tassé – drums

 
Girl From the North Country

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The Séguin brothers – My Back Pages

Les frères Séguin

The Séguin brothers

My brother and I are very lucky – we grew up in a small country town, sons of parents who believed in the great outdoors, where we played and spent most of our youth. We were also very lucky to come of age in the 60s, both of us captivated by the popular music of that time, a completely different experience from today’s popular music. Where music is now completely controlled by the industry, a money-making cash cow that spits out innocuous dance music sung by innocuous “artists”, we grew up with Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In the 60s the artists themselves controlled the music business, which is obvious when you hear the popular songs everyone listened to back then. The music industry would not allow this today. Do you think songs like “For What It’s Worth” would be promoted today? “Universal Soldier”? “Turn, Turn, Turn”?

It is easy to forget what a huge force Bob Dylan was in the early 60s. Starting with “Blowing in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin'”, anthems for our generation, Dylan composed songs of political and social import that propelled widespread protest against the inequities of the times. “My Back Pages”, composed in 1964, looks back at the strife of young manhood and moves away from it, as Dylan soon did. The definitive version of this song came in 1967 from The Byrds and, thanks to Roger McGuinn’s voice and electric 12-string guitar, it’s an arrangement that simply can’t be improved upon. I wanted to emphasize the song’s lofty qualities and chose a cathedral setting for my arrangement.

After spending a day outside in the sun last summer, Bob dreamed that night of our youth, the blue skies, the forest trails, the open fields, the freedom we embraced. When he awoke, he immediately wrote down his dream and we included it as the lyrics to the last verse of the song, what we refer to as the dream sequence.

Here’s our version of “My Back Pages.”

Bob Séguin: voice and additional lyrics

Richard Séguin: MIDI guitar (B3 organ)

 
My Back Pages

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