Alouest is a dynamic musical group from the French-Canadian community of Maillardville, British Columbia. Taking inspiration from groups like La Bottine Souriante and Great Big Sea, Alouest prides itself in reviving the traditional songs of the French-Canadian culture by adapting new arrangements and musical styles. Alouest employs powerful vocal harmonies combined with guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and an array of folk percussion instruments to reinterpret the songs of their upbringing from a decidedly west coast perspective.
Roger Grimard – percussion and vocals
Roger was born in Maillardville, from where Alouest originates and remains based. Growing up in a traditional French‐Canadian home, Roger enjoyed large family house parties with local musicians like his cousin Clarence Levesque (4‐year Canadian fiddling champion) and Roger Parent (Blue Mountain Boys). Roger began his formal training in high‐school band, heavily influenced by the drummers of that era like Buddy Rich and Ringo Star. He started playing in local bands at the age of 14 and was voted Best Drummer in the Fraser Valley in 1969. For nearly 40 years, Roger collaborated with his long‐time friend in the band Traveling Lite. Before Alouest, Roger collaborated in the local band, Thunder Creek, which was nominated 3 years in a row for Bluegrass Band of the Year. He is a confident percussionist but is equally adept at vocals, having sung lead and harmonies for various bands. He has the added gift of being bilingual, having spoken both official languages since his childhood. He is equally at ease with rock, bluegrass, country and folk – whatever the style; he has a smile on his face, a beat in his heart, and a song on his lips!
Michel Legal – guitar, percussion and vocals
Michel studied music from a young age and has been playing guitar almost his entire life. Like his father Dan, he remembers fondly the kitchen parties of his childhood where great‐great‐aunts and uncles brought to life the French‐Canadian music he now shares with others. He has played guitar and sung in a variety of groups, and can boast of having played on three continents. An engineer by trade, he combines a high degree of technical skill with creative passion both in his professional and musical endeavors. When not at work or with the band, he spends his time with his three sons and his wife, also a musician, with whom he regularly collaborates in developing his new musical ideas for the band.
Daniel Legal – guitar, mandolin, violin and vocals
From his earliest days Dan’s heart has been firmly rooted in the arts (music, architecture, graphic art) while his head has built a career in major construction (pun intended!). The traditional French Canadian house parties of his youth embedded a deep appreciation for his cultural roots, an opportunity to play every instrument he could get his hands on, and a passion for good fiddling. His musical influences are broad reaching, from the Eagles, Harry Chapin, and Stevie‐Ray Vaughan, to Canadian fiddlers like Carriere, Laderoute, Dejarlis, Richard, Messer…. (ok pretty much any Canadian fiddler he has ever heard!). Dan is an accomplished vocalist with a rich choral background and broad instrumental experience from guitar to trumpet, harmonica, percussion, mandolin and fiddle.