Tour dates & setlists

-- 17 February 2010 --

2010 Index

General information


17 February 2010


Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain


Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Show comments:

With Michel Rivard


Comments/further information

Submitted by Grant Edwards:

On Wednesday, February 17th, 2010, Bruce Cockburn and Michel Rivard shared the stage for a small and intimate performance in front of a receptive audience of approximately two hundred people. The show took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, at the Centre Culturel franco-manitobain as a part of the annual Festival du Voyageur, a ten day celebration of the history of the area and of the French Canadian culture. It was filmed as part of a series of concerts entitled “Pour un soir seulement”, where two performers, often with different musical styles, get together to perform each other’s songs. The show will be broadcast at a future date on ARTV and Radio Canada so fans should be able to see it.

Michel Rivard, for those who are not familiar with him, has been a major influence on the Quebecois music scene since the early 1970’s, when he was an integral part of the popular group Beau Dommage. He has acted, written film scores, been a television host, performed internationally, and has won many awards for his compositions. He has released twenty albums, nine with Beau Dommage, and eleven since going solo in 1978. Needless to say, both he and Bruce Cockburn are quite accomplished and are well suited to share their gifts on stage.

On this night, comedian Alain Martel warmed the audience up before the show with his quick wit and hilarious slapstick. This was followed by a very enjoyable performance by Bori and Tomas Jenson, musicians who really know how to capture an audience and to keep them entertained.

After a brief twenty minute break, the main show was about to begin. Once we had all settled in our seats, Michel Rivard and Bruce Cockburn entered the stage area to thunderous applause, given the relatively small crowd size. Beginning with the very first song, Confiance, by Michel Rivard, it was obvious that these two artists would have no trouble assimilating each other’s songs, as they interplayed and melded their styles into a multifaceted musical entity. As Bruce would relate to me later, it was a pleasure to play with Michel Rivard, as it always is when the music flows seamlessly. And seamless it was.

Michel introduced the next song, Bruce’s Pacing The Cage, saying that when he first became aware of their recording the show together, he was hoping that Bruce would choose that song to play, as it is one of his favourites. Well his prayers were answered, and together the two of them created yet another version of that excellent song, as they took turns singing and picking. Their voices complemented each other well with Bruce’s voice being much lower than Michel’s, leading to wonderful harmonies.

The next song was Michel’s Les Chemins De Gravelle, which was well received by all in the predominantly French-Canadian audience, many of whom are equally as familiar with the music of Michel Rivard as they are with that of Bruce Cockburn.

There were times between songs where the two performers switched from “being musicians, to being guitar techs” as they tuned their instruments to alternate tunings. At one point Bruce had tuned his guitar but Michel was still tweaking his. Michel quipped that Bruce is faster at tuning, to which Bruce replied, “His guitar has more strings.” Michel responded with “He has more fingers.” The mutual respect these two have for each other was evidenced by the level of comfort they shared on stage.

As a tip of the toque to the essence of the Festival du Voyageur, Bruce reached back to his Circles In The Stream album and selected Homme Brulant as his next song, which demonstrated his ability to create a great song in French as well.

This was followed by Michel’s Le Gout De L’Eau, an excellent song that alternates between serene and rollicking guitar, and was a great showcase for the performers’ instrumental virtuosity.

The final song of the evening was Lovers In A Dangerous Time by Bruce Cockburn, a fitting choice to end the performance, as it is easily recognizable, and it had many in the audience quietly singing along. The resulting standing ovation at the song’s end brought smiles to the faces of both Bruce Cockburn and Michel Rivard, who appeared to have had as good a time as all who were in attendance. Although the show was a short one and we were all left wanting more, everyone departed, satisfied in knowing that they had shared in a special and memorable evening.

On a personal note, Bruce graciously agreed to meet with my friend Gisele and me after the show, while Gisele’s husband Bill was literally left holding her purse. Thanks for that, Bill. Normally I would be very nervous meeting one of my favourite songwriters/singers/guitarists/humanitarians, but Bruce Cockburn turned out to be a remarkably relaxing person to be around. He also has a good sense of humour. When Gisele suggested that Bruce and I look like we could be brothers, he said that we had just found out that we are. Give me a call next time you’re in town Bruce. Mom and Dad would love to see you again.

Archive recording

Known recording:








Help out! To add material to this page, see this page first.

2010 Index