I’m starting to see a trend; the musicians who catch my ear tend to have started playing when they were kids. Caleb Gallant at around age 8, Jesse Pèriard at 7 with the guitar, and Rowan Gallant also at 8 with the fiddle. (Maybe I should have stuck with the piano way back when. Sorry, mom.)
While Rowan, Caleb, and Jesse were heading back from their very first sound check, a friend of the family asked what their bands name was. Upon being told they didn't have one, it was suggested “Well, you have 10 strings and a goat skin, go from there!” And thus Ten Strings and a Goat Skin was born.
The group is heavily influenced by traditional music, while playing it in a more contemporary style—a fusion of traditional/Irish/French. A lot of music from across the pond or a bit further south is where they turn for inspiration, but you can bet Stan Rogers and Lennie Gallant have left a huge mark on them.
They have one CD out, Tri, recorded about two years ago in one day. It has earned them the Roots Traditional Recording of the Year Award at the 2012 Music PEI Awards and was nominated for the Roots Traditional Group Recording of the Year Award at the 2012 East Coast Music Awards (ECMA). You can grab it at Back Alley Music in Charlottetown, Gallants Clover Farm (Rustico), PEI Preserve Company, The Great Canadian Goat Soap Company (they even hand out soap samples at some shows!), or catch them at a show.
Heading to Sonic Temple in Halifax to record, they hope to have an album out this spring—something I’ve been itching for since I first saw them at Plan B in Moncton for the 2012 ECMAs.
The winter season will see Caleb, Jesse, and Rowan focusing on school, but keep your eye out in the spring and summer for shows. Want to check them out? They're on Facebook: Ten-Strings-and-a-Goat-Skin.