Acadian Cousins: Phoebe & Ray Legere

Legere: Phoebe and Ray Release ACADIAN MOON

Legere & Legere's album cover, ACADIAN MOON
He’s a two-time BLUEGRASS ARTIST OF THE YEAR East Coast Music Award winner, and has played with great folk acts including The Band.

She’s a downtown NYC, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer, who has played with John Hartford, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Don Cherry, Steve Martin, and Boston, New York and Cleveland Orchestras.

He’s one of Canada’s premiere fiddle/mandolin players. She’s an award-winning songwriter, poet and painter.

And they’re cousins! Legere features Phoebe and Ray Legere. Each carved unique careers in the music world. Phoebe and Ray recently united to pay tribute to their Acadian roots and created a new Ep of Acadian-influenced music. entitled, ACADIAN MOON on Phoebe’s Big Moose record label.  

Phoebe and Ray connected because a family member Léo-Paul Léger, from Moncton, N.B., President of the Famille Legere, googled “Legere.” to see if he could locate any long-lost Legeres displaced during The 1700s’ Great Acadian Diaspora. Léo-Paul found www.phoebelegere.com and invited Phoebe to the Congrès Mondial Acadien.

She put her accordion on her back, hopped on a Greyhound Bus, and sang a song at the reunion, “After about 8 bars, four handsome Legere cousins jumped up and started playing the spoons with me! Everybody was clapping and cheering! It was the greatest party of all time!”

Léo-Paul told Phoebe, she had a Canadian cousin named Ray, who was “the best fiddler in Nova Scotia.” “Leo showed me Ray’s photo. ‘Goodness gracious!’ I said. ‘Ray looks just like daddy when he was young’ So I googled Ray and found  www.raylegere.com. Ray is just so nice and brilliantly talented as you can hear for yourself when you listen to our EP ACADIAN MOON!”

Congrés 2014 was in Edmundston, N.B., “I wrote a song for our family. It’s called ‘L’Acadie.’ I played the song at the reunion.”  Then Phoebe sent the song to a friend in France, who sent it to a radio programmer in Germany, “He loved it, and he sent it to a radio lady in Canada, and next thing you know she called me up and said, ‘This is so great, won’t you and Ray please do some more songs?!’” 
“I called up Ray, ‘May I drive up to Memramcook and play with your band? We’ll record a little album that will be down-to-earth and real, with the flavor of an old-time kitchen party!’”
Well, how could he say no to a cousin!
Songs on the ACADIAN MOON EP are in a mixture of French and English: “Cajun Moon,” and French: “L’Acadie,” “Bel Bel Bel,” and in English: “OK Cupid.”

Please watch “OK CUPID” the first video from Legere at bit.ly/1BUvQ0i . The video is a selfie shot on Phoebe's new Iphone 6.  There were also dance scenes from Phoebe's award winning original musical play Shakespeare and Elizabeth - choreographed by Catherine Turocy.

PHOEBE LEGERE is a songwriter and resident of Maine, and of Acadian and Abenaki (First Nations) descent. She sings, and plays piano, accordion, cello, Native American flute, organ, buffalo drum, synthesizer, guitar and cavaquinjo. She has created the Shamancycle, a giant, 15-person, ride-able Eagle sculpture-vehicle, running on alternative energy. Legere will be performing on the solar stage of the Shamancycle at the San Francisco Makers Fair this May 16th and 17th. At age 16, Phoebe made her Carnegie Hall debut and was signed to Epic Records. Her original song “Marilyn Monroe” was a hit on college radio in 1990, and her accordion song “Amazing Love” was in the Top 40 on Adult Contemporary in 1997. She starred in cult films including Mondo New York and Toxic Avenger 2 and 3. She opened for David Bowie, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music in 2000. Phoebe has released 15 CDs of original music, and has appeared on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, PBS City Arts, and Charlie Rose. She has sung at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and at the Congres Mondial Acadien. Recently Phoebe appeared on HBO, singing her original song about the environment, “Hip Hop Frog” (now available on iTunes).

Based in New Brunswick, Canada RAY LEGERE is the 2003 and 1996 ECMA (East Coast Music Award) Winner for "Bluegrass Artist Of The Year.” One of Canada’s premiere fiddle/mandolin players, the Amherst, Nova Scotia native is a five-time winner of the Eastern Division Bluegrass Awards for both Mandolin and Fiddle, plus the Canadian Bluegrass Awards, Woodstock, Ontario’s Open Mandolin Championship, and the Old Time Fiddle Championship in Sackville, New Brunswick. He has shared the stage or played on recordings by many favorites including David Grisman, Sam Bush, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, The Band, Tony Trischka, Doc Watson, Bela Fleck. Ray has recorded on hundreds of sessions, TV SHOWS, and has five solo albums to his credit.