Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hervé Oudet - The End Of "Acoustic In Paris"

If you gave a regular visit to Leaky Sparrow since the beginning (thank you very much!), you know what is Acoustic In Paris. From Ellis Paul to Richard Shindell, Leaky Sparrow tried to review since two years almost every shows that were held in this little tiny pub located close to the Pantheon named La Pomme d’Eve (The Eve’s Apple). Each evening was much more than enjoyable and quite unusual in a city were acoustic music is almost ban. Thanks to Hervé Oudet to make it happened. Unfortunately, Acoustic In Paris will stop in few months. We will have to wait long before we could hear again those talented artists - known or unknown - that Hervé used to offer to the Parisians during four years. Hervé Oudet explained (in English, s’il vous plaît!) the reasons why he decided to put an end to this acoustic journey.

Leaky Sparrow: Hervé, you announced recently the end of the Acoustic In Paris adventure and that you will stop to organise concert every month at La Pomme d’Eve. Why?
Hervé Oudet: Yes, after four years and close to 50 shows and over 80 artists I have decided to discontinue the series. The main reason is that what once was a hobby has turned into a real part-time job with some impact on my business and family life.

LS: What made you start Acoustic In Paris four years ago? Was it the lack of acoustic concerts in Paris at that time?
HO: Actually yes, I was tired of seeing my favorite artists play everywhere in Europe, but not in France! When Karel was doing shows at the Hotel du Nord, he kindly accepted some of the acts I suggested to him, such as David Olney, Jack Williams, Ellis Paul, Peter Keane or Eric Taylor, until I decided to take a chance and promote those shows myself. Johan Asherton took me to a club his manager Gérard had found and when I decided to start the series, I knew where shows would be happening. La Pomme d'Eve is a very intimate setting for acoustic shows and when you're alone with your guitar in front of 50 to 100 persons, you can't cheat, you have to give the best of yourself. That's why most shows have been nothing short of magic.

LS: Didn’t you think about promoting that music in a different way maybe once in a while in some other hall or club?
: Not right now. Setting up shows implies takes lot of hidden time and energy. The show itself is really the tip of the iceberg. And it's important to keep the series to a single venue. People don't talk about "Acoustic in Paris", but rather "La Pomme"!

LS: Hervé, what is your best souvenir from those last four years, the show that you will never forget?
HO: Without any hesitation, Bill Morrissey's first show in April 2005. I had been in touch with Bill for a couple of years after I discovered his music in 1995 and I wanted to bring him over. Bill is really one of the finest songwriters alive, along with David Olney, Eric Taylor or Guy Clark. He's also one of the few who has played for my series and has actually become a real friend. He stayed at our place and wrote a song there, Grave of Baudelaire which is on his new album Come Running. My wife and I have spent some time at his place in Tamworth, New Hampshire, and Bill took us to the Green River Festival where I could meet some of my other favorite songwriters who later played at la Pomme: Peter Mulvey, Jeffrey Foucault, Kris Delmhorst, Tracy Grammer and Jim Henry, Anais Mitchell. I could also shake hands with Steve Earle and Buddy Miller. Bill also drove us to the Edson cemetery in Lowell, Mass, where Jack Kerouac is buried (see picture above). Local songwriter Bob Martin was our guide. Bill is a walking encyclopaedia of folk, rock and jazz music. I was in heaven for 10 days!
Recently, Richard Shindell, Peter Mulvey and the two Plainsong shows with Iain Matthews and Andy Roberts were amazing and seeing a happy audience and happy artists is the most beautiful reward. My biggest regret is that Steve Young played on a strike day and only 30 persons showed up. And the artists I wish I had brought are John Gorka, Grayson Capps, David Francey and Lucy Kaplansky. I may be back, just for them!

The latest shows are: January 29, 2008: Tom Paxton * February 21: Jeffrey Foucault (and Joseph Parsons) * March 19: Kris Delmhorst * April 15 & 16: Greg Brown & Bo Ramsey. Tickets and reservations: Acoustic In Paris.

Some exclusives live recording from previous shows:
Kris Delmhorst - Hummingbird .mp3 – La Pomme d’Eve, Paris - October 12, 2006
David Olney & Thomm Jutz - Rex's Blues-Snowing on Raton .mp3 – La Pomme d’Eve, Paris – November 29, 2004
Eric Andersen & Inge Bakkenes - Blue River .mp3 – La Pomme d’Eve, Paris – July 7, 2005

Bill Morrissey - Will You Be My Rose .mp3
Bonus: Peter Mulvey - Old Simon Stimson .mp3

Photo 1: The grave of Jack Kerouac – From left to right
Bill Morrissey, Hervé Oudet, Bob Martin
Photo 2: Iain Matthews, Hervé Oudet, Patrick Chevalot (soundman) & Andy Roberts, Dec. 15 2007

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Anonymous Dan said...

Always loved Eric Anderson "Blue River". A simple, beautiful song. Thanks for this post.

2:56 AM  
Blogger L said...

Thanks for these.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Aww, how sad! :-(
I saw Anais Mitchell and AJ Roach playing at la pomme d'eve last year and really enjoyed the show!
Good luck for Hervé in the future, he has always been very kind and passionate!

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Generic Cialis said...

I've heard that these three men have made an incredible show in Paris but I want to see them by myself not that others telling me that.

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