Joe Flood Sings Georges Brassens
I have admired the songs of Georges Brassens since I first heard them more than twenty-five years ago as a busker in Paris. His songs are like nobody else's, French or American, and over the years, I have been influenced by his style practically as much as by the Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Hoagy Carmichael, and Willie Dixon songs I grew up on. The closest thing America has to Brassens is Bob Dylan, but we all know the tale of Dylan going electric, and Brassens played his last gigs pretty much as he did his first, supporting his acoustic guitar on his knee with his loyal sideman Pierre Nicolas on double bass behind him. He brought none of Dylan's showmanship to the stage, just his songs.
Two years ago I set out to translate and record some of my favorite Brassens songs. I asked my friends Eric Ambel, Garth Hudson, and Mark Dann to help out and we enlisted some other great musicians to join us. We now have recordings of ten of my translations which we will be releasing soon. In the meantime, I have been adding these new versions to my shows and will be doing a series of shows the first Tuesday of every month at Cafe Nine in New Haven singing Brassens, in French and in English, and some other related material, too. I hope to turn this into a regular event where I can invite special guests and debut some new material and other translations as I do them, so please come out and support the effort if you get the chance.
You can read what poet Kenneth Rexroth thought about Brassens by clicking here. We will be making some of our recordings available for your listening pleasure soon, so please stay tuned.