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The band

The Echo Hunters

 

their shows have become the stuff of legend… Like the best southern barbecue, the best music often benefits from long, slow cooking (…) Cabin Fever, a collection of masterful folk-country-blues originals… has already scored major rave reviews and lots of airplay …” Greg Quill, Toronto Star.

©Photo: Dana Whitle

 

*The touring band is 5 people*

The ECHO HUNTERS have been a fixture of Montreal’s vibrant music scene since forever. Proof, for anyone who needs it, is the loyalty of an entire generation of folk roots fans, loyalty earned night after night, gig after gig. It’s music that is easy on the ear and, at the same time, hard to pigeonhole. An eclectic indie folk sound that vibrates in every riff of this amazing six-piece act.

Considered one of Canada’s most authentic folk-rock bands of the past decade, The Echo Hunters have been often compared to CSN&Y, Buffalo Springfield and Harmonium. But this band’s infectious sound and strong yet accessible material have transposed those early influences into this century. Their rootsy blend of styles rivals Mumford & Sons or The Lumineers, even as they stake out their territory as the very essence of Canadiana.

The Echo Hunters project a strong collective musical personality. Larry Cassini, Gordon Fleming and Kirk Fontaine, old friends who have been working together for over thirty years, are joined by Rob Couture, Sylvain Dancausse and Carl Rufh, veteran musicians with many accomplishments in their own right. Together they produce an experience of superior musicianship that is just dynamite on stage.

Fortunately, that same collective charisma is well captured throughout their recordings, in which the band’s collaborative approach to songwriting faithfully reflects their philosophy. The Echo Hunters have released three superb albums to-date.

Fortuna Beach (May 2013), their latest, is their strongest offering so far. It follows two critically acclaimed releases: Twenty Years (2003) and Cabin Fever (2007). These are all generous, “deliciously varied” collections that have the hallmarks of a well-designed, dynamic set-list.

 


©Photo: Aimé Méthé

(left to right: Sylvain Dancausse, Rob Couture, Kirk Fontaine, Gordie Fleming, Larry Cassini, Carl Rufh)

The Band

 

Larry Cassini (vocals and lead guitar) has performed with an incredible variety of artists from Anarcho-comic Norman Narwocki, the Digitals, Bo Diddley, Del Shannon, and Skipper Dean and is the current guitarist for People’s Gospel Choir of Montreal. Larry’s work in sound engineering and experience as a music producer (Studio DNA) adds to the band’s contemporary sound.

Rob Couture (drums/percussions, vocals) has been with the Echo Hunters since they began recording. Rob works with several Monteal bands, such as The Future Ex-Wives and Jamal’s Cool Head. He has performed with Penny Lang, Kim Beggs and Chris Jagger.

Sylvain Dancausse (violin) is celebrating over 20 year as a professional violinist. As a graduate of the Université de Montréal, Sylvain has played with many orchestras and was a regular member of the Ensemble Telemann and the Lindele string quartet. Sylvain started to explore other music styles, approaching various repertoires such as flamenco, Brazilian bossa, gypsy (Django Reinhardt style), and jazz (Stephane Grapelli).

Gordon Fleming’s strong vocals and use of falsetto, unique 12 string acoustic guitar and blues harmonica are integral components of the band.  He is from a remarkable musical family and has performed all his life. He can usually be found behind the wheel of a big rig, which is his day job, or out in Nature, when not performing, writing or listening to music, as a key songwriter in the band.

Kirk Fontaine (guitar, bass and backing vocals) is a multi-talented Montreal musician who played with a number of bands including Trick of the Tail, the Black Cadillacs, Rocksfield Pointe and the popular People’s Gospel Choir. Kirk, it is often said, learns an instrument a day. He’s contributed organ, mandolin, sitar and glockenspiel to the Echo Hunters’ recordings.

Carl Rufh  (bass, vocals), veteran pro bassist, has toured with renowned guitarist Jimmy James since 1983, opened for Stevie Ray Vaughn and played on radio, TV and film soundtracks. Carl’s vintage Fender bass has united him with many greats; Offenbach’s John McGale, Big Moose Walker, The Echo Hunters, Bob Harrison, Michael Jerome Browne, Carl Tremblay and more. He is also a founding member of roots band the Durham County Poets.

What they say

“Great band, great records and great live…..not to be missed” Barry Marshall-Everett, House of Mercy records/Radio Station, London UK

“I had the chance to play the same stage as the Echo Hunters one evening and it was my own good fortune. These guys are really melodic and have a pile of great original and singable tunes backed by some serious musicianship. They should not be missed.” Terry Tufts (songwriting winner, From The Heart 2001)

“I’ve gotten great reviews for The Echo Hunters! Thanks for putting me on to them!” Frank Opolko, CBC Radio Montréal

“Gordie… is a beautiful singer…” Jane McGarrigle

“Local heroes the Echo Hunters…” Mary Lamey, The Gazette

“The Echo Hunters were real tight – those close harmonies are thrilling.” Mike Regenstrief, CKUT Radio

Highlights

  • Music award winners at Water Walker
  • Film Festival : Rivière Dumoine: A Paddlers’ Journey. An immeasurable amount of talent contributed to the 22-piece soundtrack (mostly original compositions; The Echo Hunters, Ray Bonneville and more).
  • Folquébec Showcase showcase,  Austin, TX
  • Folquébec Showcase showcase,  San Diego, CA
  • Recorded their first CD Twenty Years at Studio DNA with co-producer Dave Sturton; released September 2003 independently through BROS; guests include Shane Murphy, Bob Stagg and Stephane Gaudreau
  • Sala Rossa, Montreal (May 2003) Ain’t Life Sweet – Penny Lang tribute
  • Global-TV coast-to-coast (April 2003) Yellow Door’s 35th Anniversary all-star show
  • Folquébec Showcase, Nashville, TN
  • CBC National Radio coast-to-coast with Yellow Door anniversary show (Nov 2003)
  • On the popular Folquébec double compilation* (European publishing interest)
  • Cut on CBC’s DreamStream website virtual festival (click on folk/country)
  • Anti-war song, Lay Down Your Arms released to local radio; airplay on CKUT Radio McGill and CBC
  • Live CBC Radio Broadcast Radio Noon