Take a Peak: Ben Bouchard

Musician makes rare appearance for fundraiser

A list of musicians participating in One Day I Walk, an evening of Bruce Cockburn’s music in support of Syrian refugees, continues to grow. One performer booked into the lineup is Lund’s Ben Bouchard, who will be joined onstage by fellow Lund musician and cellist Hugh Prichard. Father of popular singer/songwriter Lukah Bouchard, Ben is an accomplished musician in his own right. The fundraiser for a new Syrian family who will arrive in Powell River next year takes place at 7 pm on Sunday, November 12, at St. David and St. Paul Anglican Church.

What is bringing you out to play?
The cause: the fundraiser for the Syrian family. I really like Bruce Cockburn's music. I like the idea of musicians playing together with a theme. I've always played some Cockburn. He's an interesting musician from the statements and meaning in his songs, and he's a really good guitar player, too.

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Can you explain the Québécois style of music you play?
Québécois style is very rhythmic. People play together in big gatherings and a lot of the songs are callback songs where people sing and the rest of the group sings back, and people take turns telling stories. The rhythm part of the Québécois music is pretty unique and really jiggy.

Can you put that Québécois twist on Cockburn?
Musically, I don't want to change how it is. Hugh Prichard is going to join me on the cello, so we'll have a nice set together. Rhythmically, my rhythm, the Québécois rhythm, will be a slight change to Cockburn, but just slightly.

How did you and Hugh hook up?
There was a massive wedding and people in the crowd were on stage for eight hours, just playing. At that point I realized he was a really good player and a really fun person. He's amazing. He's been playing since he was six. We’ve often played impromptu. Every time we play together we really listen well to each other. It turns out to be quite beautiful versions of whatever we’re doing, even if it's “My Sharona.”

Does doing this Cockburn gig mean we’re going to see more of you playing in public again?
I'm not sure. I'm not really interested in playing a restaurant scene or pubs. Mostly, in the last few years, I've played for different events. It feels good to do it.

Do you sometimes think you live vicariously through Lukah’s success?
I love it. I love his music. I love seeing him play. We’re similar players, especially in how we attack the guitar and the rhythm. He has that French Canadian, Irish feistiness when he wants to channel that energy. He can light the fire.

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