Bette & Wallet w/Leapfrog

Quebec City bilingual duo launch CD at Ginger's

Mary Beth Carty, Gabriel F. Ouellette and the world's smallest violin.

Four years after moving to Quebec City, Mary Beth Carty is returning to Halifax to release a CD with her (romantic and musical) partner Gabriel F. Ouellette. Carty brings the Bette and Ouellette brings the Wallet to Bette & Wallet, a bilingual duo driven by accordion, violin and Ouellette’s stomping feet. Carty (The Johnson Sisters) met Ouellette while playing at Pub Nelligan’s in Quebec. They’ve played together as Bette & Wallet since 2006.

They call it musique recycle---original songs influenced by their Irish, Scottish and Quebecois roots. Carty is from Antigonish, while Ouellette grew up in St. Marc, Quebec (“a flat rural pit-stop”). “I love writing,” Carty says, “and creating new texts to old melodies.” “Squeegees” (about contemporary winter punk fashion) is inspired by the traditional song, “Des mitaines pas de pouce en hiver.” Bette & Wallet’s roots dig deep and wide: Ouellette’s previous band, Les Queteux (The Beggars) played music picked up from people singing traditional Quebecois songs. Carty has also played in a Brazilian folk group (Ser et Nata) and is studying Klezmer music this summer with KlezKanada.

Carty plays acoustic guitar and piano and Ouellette plays guitar, banjo et pied (feet). Violin is his favourite instrument; hers is the accordion. Carty likes doing things that seem impossible---like writing songs in French. After she wrote these songs, her Quebecois friends fixed them so they made sense. On Thursday, June 12, at Ginger’s Tavern, expect some call-and-response audience participation on “Fonctionnaire” (about a civil servant’s after-work routine). Carty promises to debut a tongue-twister of a song called “Tow a Toyota.” Instrumental psychedelic/Celtic band Leapfrog will open the night and after Bette & Wallet’s set the amps will go off and the music will go on---feel free to bring an instrument.

Thursday, June 12 at Ginger's Tavern. 1662 Barrington, 9pm, $5.

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