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2013-10-12

The story of our fantastic road trip in Edge Magazine!

Here's a cool 4 pages article about our amazing road trip in the october issue of Edge Magazine! Read it online right here:

Great Review from France of our latest album

We got such a great review from Agnès of Destination Passion
Here it is:

Encore une belle surprise : You & Me

Direction Montréal pour découvrir plus en profondeur cette belle découverte qu’est le duo You & Me composé de James et Valérie, une formation anglo montréalaise.


J’avais fais rapidement référence au duo dans mon pêle-mêle d’hier, histoire de vous signaler l’album . Depuis, j’ai écouté en profondeur leur opus éponyme You and Me qui m’a laissé en plan tellement j’ai adoré.
Une galette sortie en janvier dernier et qui réserve bien des surprises. Des morceaux qui collent bien à une ambiance bluesy même si de nombreuses sonorités folk sont là pour nous permettre de naviguer entre les deux genres.
Une petite entrée en matière live pour ouvrir le bal avec I Should have Listened.
Avec la voix grave de James sur des morceaux tels que Born a Nightmare et Woman You’re Doing Right , vous décollez illico tellement le niveau est haut et le travail diablement bien coordonné et orchestré.
C’est calme , doux , profond et sonne vraiment bien. Une galette pertinente et de qualité qui nous montre tout le potentiel du duo.
La surprise vient de leur reprise de Knocking on Heaven’s Door du groupe Guns N Roses. Contrairement à beaucoup de reprises qui ont pu être massacrées par certains d’artistes , je trouve que là, James et Valérie ont su lui donner un style et une orientation qui fait de leur reprise une chouette réussite.
Pour tout vous dire , le duo a découvert le blog par l’intermédiaire de Matthew de The River Has Many Voices dont je vous avais parlé a plusieurs reprises et m’a écrit un mot extrêmement sympathique.
Je les remercie de ce contact car sinon, nous aurions tous raté un grand et bel album .
Un disque absolument extraordinaire d’artistes dont je vous reparlerais car dorénavant classé dans mes coups de cœur ! La preuve , je file ajouter le lien permanent sur le blog, chose que je fais très rarement.
N’hésitez pas à en programmer l’achat car à seulement 10 dollars canadien pour la version en téléchargement , ça les vaut grandement.
De mon côté, tous mes remerciements à James et Valérie pour cet album littéralement envoutant.
A surveiller vraiment de très très près !

2012-04-29

Ear to the Ground Presents - Volume I

For Record Store day this year, "Ear to the Ground" in Nashville did an unofficial RSD release in the form of a 14 songs compilation, which includes a brand new song from You and Me : "Cry with me". The compilation is loaded with great songs from very fine artists like : the Dead Exs, the Alternates, those Mockingbirds, The Mobbs, Makar, Don Ryan and more. And you can download this amazing compilation for free (!) right here : Ear to the Ground Presents - Volume I  so go ahead and enjoy!

2012-03-08

DELICIOUS apple-cinnamon French toast muffins

So this post is especially for Tender Branson from the Write.Click.Cook.Listen Blog, which we really like...everything looks so delicious on this blog, and there's a lot of good music to discover as well...so check it out!

So I'm about to share a DELICIOUS apple-cinnamon French toast muffin recipe, but be aware, it is addictive!
As I rarely cook measuring the ingredients out, this will be approximate measurements...You will need, for about 12 big muffins:
  • 4 beaten eggs 
  • about 1½ cup of milk 
  • 2 apples cut in very small pieces
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • about ½ cup of brown sugar
  • about 10 slices of whole grain bread of your choice
  • lots of cinnamon (I put about 2 spoons)
  • You can also add some ground flax seeds or other nuts
  • you will need some butter to coat the muffin pan
You preheat your oven at 350, you mix everything in a big bowl...if it's too wet, put some more bread and if it's too dry, add some more milk... Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then fill your muffin pan (which you've already coated with butter of course) and put it in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Once the muffins are ready, you can eat them right on the spot with some maple syrup or you can freeze them and just reheat them in your oven or toaster-oven in the morning when you feel like it (it's great when you have people sleeping over, makes the next morning breakfast delicious and easy)...You can also freeze them in the muffin pan before baking them, just remove them from the pan once completely frozen. You'll see it's delicious!

Now I'm curious to hear which song will Tender Branson pair this recipe with! Cheers! :)


2012-02-12

Our great road trip! Part 3

Here’s part 3 of our great road trip story...sit comfortably, maybe get a coffee or a tea, there’s going to be a lot to read today! Since I’m the French half of the band, please be forgiving if I have any grammar mistakes, it should not be too bad...hopefully! (For those of you who didn't read part 1 and part 2, clic here and here)


So I was about to tell you about our little misadventure that almost had us go back home before the adventure really begun...it happened to us on the second week of our trip...
We were actually in the parking lot of the RCMP (That’s kind of the Canadian version on the FBI), in Ottawa,  James was giving me my first standard driving lesson and I was not too bad until... the Volks just choked in the middle of the parking lot and didn’t want to start no more...At first we thought I had drown the engine, so we waited for over an hour, to let the sparkplugs dry, then we tried to start the engine again...it was cranking, but not starting...We were wondering if maybe the sparkplugs were just not quite dry yet, so James decided to take them off and dry them himself...Fortunately,  James had all the tools he needed for the job since he had packed 2 boxes of tools and spare parts for the Volks on the roof of the van, underneath our canoe (And this would be my tip number one to anyone wanting to do a long road trip like this:  bring A LOT of spare parts and tools and learn some mechanic...it could just save your trip more than once!) So James and I got the tools from the boxes underneath the canoe (that was quite a task in itself!) and dried the sparkplugs. We were all ready to try starting the engine again when we  realize that our battery was dead...Fortunately, James had thought of everything and he had brought a little booster pack with us, to boost our battery, just in case! We just had to move our luggage around to access the battery (for those who don’t know, the engine in a Westfalia is located in the back of the vehicle and the battery is hiding under the front passenger seat...so you can picture all of our stuff –and we had a lot - piled up right in the middle of the van and Blondie, our dog, sleeping  somewhere in the pile) So we were in the middle of  moving all our stuff around to get to boost the battery, when, to top it off,  an officer from the RCMP arrived beside us with his gun out and started to interrogate us. This was quite a ridiculous scene, I think they thought we were some sort of terrorists that had a plan or something and that we were maybe just about getting ready to attack. Well the officer was really suspicious of us, and at the end he gave us half an hour to move from the parking lot (so nice to have extra pressure when you’re in trouble!). We told him we were just giving it one last try and that if the engine was not starting, we would call the Triple A for a towing. (And this is our tip number 2: become a member of the AAA club - or CAA in Canada- before you leave on a road trip, it is guaranteed to be very useful in time and save you a bunch of money!) So unfortunately, the engine didn’t start that time either, so James called the triple A club for a towing, and the first thing they asked was : “where are you gonna want your vehicle to be towed to?” This was an excellent question since we didn’t really know the city we were in, and the Triple A guy wanted the answer right before sending the towing, so here in Canada we have some stores call “Canadian Tire” where you can buy car parts, tools and other related stuff and they also have a garage on the spot with mechanicians, so James thought this would be the perfect place to go to, that way, he could still try to fix the problem himself the next day, and if it wasn’t working, we could go to the garage of the “Canadian Tire”. So, the towing came, the RCMP’s officers were glad to see us leave and we were towed to the nearest  “Canadian Tire” store.
We felt exhausted and stressed out and we were really crossing our fingers that we were gonna be able to figure out and fix what was wrong without having to spend too much money. So we slept in the parking lot of the “Canadian Tire” and James got back to figuring out and fixing the problem the next morning. He did a whole bunch of tests and it seemed like there was no more fire, so James tried replacing the coil with a spare one we had, but that wasn’t it. At that point, we decided to bring the van in the “Canadian Tire” garage. Well, when they saw our 1984 VW van and they saw that there was a 1984 Subaru engine in it, they suddenly got very scared, so scared that the manager of the place told us they didn’t even want to have a look, they were not going to try to fix our mechanical problem because our vehicle seemed too complicated for them! (Wow!) The manager suggested we had the Van towed someplace else...So we called the Triple A club again, but they didn’t want to tow the Van a second time for the same emergency, it was not in their policy...so we had the manager of the “Canadian Tire” talk with the Triple A guy and finally they sent us another  towing.
This time though, we didn’t take any chances, and we had the van towed to the nearest Subaru dealer. The scene there was surreal, as soon as James lifted-up the engine cover, ALL the mechanicians of the shop gathered around the Van to checked it out, it was like they were admiring an artistic masterpiece! They were all amazed to see a Subaru engine fitted in a VW westfalia! So our Victor Bluesummer (that’s the name of our van) really got the royal treatment there! There was 10 mechanics gathered around the engine trying to figure out how to fix it, it was almost comical, James and I really felt like laughing, it was quite a contrast from our previous experience where no mechanics wanted to even just look at it! So they gave us their best mechanic to figure out what the trouble was...After some testing, the mechanic announced to us that our distributor was dead. We were not too surprised, James was already suspecting that this was the problem (And a distributor was about the only part we didn’t have in spare...) “There’s a bad and a good news” the friendly mechanic told us, “ The bad news is that a new distributor costs 560$, and that if we order one now, we will only have it on Monday (we were Thursday), but the good news is that I have an old Subaru distributor, same year as this one, in a box somewhere in my attic and it might still work...I’ll try to find it tonight and we’ll see tomorrow if it is still functioning.” Well, I don’t have to tell you that we immediately putted all of our hopes in that old distributor sitting somewhere in that guy’s attic, because we simply couldn’t afford buying a new one (560$ just for the part, if you add up the time of the mechanic at a dealer’s garage (about 85$/hour) you end up with a bill near to a thousand dollars and this was a VERY BIG fraction of our starting money for that trip).



So we did a little prayer that night, after the dealer’s staff actually pushed back Bluesummer (our van) outside, in the dealer’s yard, for us to spend the night in the middle of all those new Subaru cars! That’s actually one of the most unusual place we’ve slept at, I don’t know anyone beside us that actually camped in the yard of an automobile dealer, it did felt funny when they locked the gate behind them and left us there for the night...but those people were very nice, they even made sure to park us close to an electrical outlet so that we could have electricity!
We were up early the next morning. At 8am they pushed back our Bluesummer in the garage and they showed us the way to their little waiting room where we had to wait with our dog. We almost felt like we were in a hospital waiting for the result of an operation. After 1hour and a half, we had checked all the magazines that were there...time was passing so slowly...Finally, after 3 long hours of patience, a big “roar...roar...” came to our ears! There was no doubt, this was our “Victor the Victorious Bluesummer”! A BIG smile appeared on James and I, even Blondie seemed like she was smiling! The mechanician appeared in the doorway: “it’s working” he said with satisfaction, then he continued: “ I’ve put my old distributor in, it’s still good, but no one knows for how long...but I think you should be OK to get back to Montreal!” (Since the Triple A club is suppose to only help you to get back home, and not further away from home, we had told them that we were on our way back to Montreal...) So after paying for our garage bill and after thanking greatly our mechanic saviour, we sat in our van facing a dilemma: Could we take the risk of hitting the road west with that old distributor that might be good for a couple hundred miles or should we just return to Montreal?  

We deeply thought for a couple of minutes and the answer was obvious: “the trip MUST go on!” With a smile on his face, James looked at me and said: “Girl, we didn’t get this close to realizing this dream trip to just turn back around now, no way! We may have just started the trip, we‘ve only been on the road for 2 weeks, but I’ve spent 2 years preparing that VW and finally I have it all ready to travel all across America, and girl, this is just what we’ll do with it: Travel all across America! We’re not turning back now! Oh no! The trip must go on!” And that was true, that trip was a dream for us, we both had worked hard to make it happen, especially James who really made it possible by dedicating every single day for 2 years, with constant work on that Mr.Victor the Victorious Bluesummer, our VW...Sometimes life gives you a last challenge, just to see if you really want something...Well, we really wanted that trip! And so, we rolled over 200 000 miles with that same old Subaru distributor! Thank you life!
So we were very, VERY  thankful that this particular mechanic guy was on our path, because without him and his old distributor sitting in a box in his attic, that he generously gave to us, our trip would had been over before it even had really begun! So Thank you Thank you Thank you!
To be continued...
I'll leave you with a little song I found on Youtube, the Canadian Tire song !

2012-01-31

Thank you Mr. Leonard Cohen!

One of our favorite artist of all times is releasing a "long been waiting for" album today : "OLD IDEAS", and this is Leonard Cohen. Since the first time I heard a song from Leonard Cohen (Thanks to my older sister) I have been in love with his music, just can't get enough of his beautiful lyrics and his deep soothing voice...Can't count how many nights Mr.Cohen helped me fall asleep by comforting my soul with his amazing songs...Thank you Mr.Cohen.



Here's some more info about the new album: OLD IDEAS by Leonard Cohen

We would love to know your special relationship with Leonard Cohen's music, are you happy about this new release?

2012-01-27

Our great road trip! Part 2


OK, I took a long while before publishing the part 2 of this road trip story...Sorry! But here it is, I hope you can catch a glimpse of the feeling we had! (for those who didn't get part 1, here it is: part 1 )

We finally left Montreal on a quiet autumn night, listening to Neil Young’s amazing live album: Unplugged. I can still remember that moment when we sat in our van, buckled up the seat belt, start the engine and officially hit the road...Neil Young’s “old laughing lady” was playing, James was behind the steering wheel, his harmonica rack around his neck, he was playing with M. Young, Blondie, our dog, was sleeping between us... I had such a big smile on my face...We were finally on the road!  It was the beginning of an incredible 2 ½ years adventure, and to answer your questions, we are SO SO SO glad we did it...We felt amazingly free and happy!
We first went towards Ontario, Canada...and we actually had a little misadventure near Ottawa that almost had us go back home and cancel our trip... to be continued! 


In the meanwhile here's Neil Young's "Old laughing lady" to give you a sonic taste of what we heard while rolling those first miles of our memorable road trip...Just love this song...actually, this whole album is just so great!