It’s been a few years now that we can meet him with his improbable dandy style, his messy hair and his gles, strolling in Douarnenez, along the Plomar’ch to the beach of Kervel, in Plonévez -Pozay, and on the port of Rosmeur. In 2017, Arthur B. Gillette, a discreet artist, as strange as he is talented, known on the French music scene for being the guitarist of the folk group Moriarty, settled for good with his family in the Penn-Sardin city, not far from the famous rue Monte-au-ciel.
The Franco-American musician, also radio producer, composer for the cinema (“ Gabriel and the Mountain ” And, more recently, “Los Conductos”) and theater man (“Remi”, “Les Bonimenteurs” with Jonathan Capdevielle), co-founded the folk group Moriarty, famous for its ballad “Jimmy” and the deep voice of its singer, she also Franco-American, Rosemary Standley. After having chosen to take a “break”, in particular following the Bataclan tragedy in which the drummer, Éric, “took two bullets in the arm”, Arthur, who has toured a lot in Brittany, says he is “very attached to this people like no other”. He finally found his home base there, with many projects and collaborations today.
“My parents arrived in France in the 1960s and 70s,” says the 46-spring artist. My father was from the New York area and my father from Boston. Although I was born in Paris, English is my mother tongue. When I speak, I write or I sing, I keep the vocabulary and the accent… relatively dated from my father. That is to say, that of an American from New Jersey in the 1960s! It’s schizophrenic and hard to explain, but the language of my deepest feelings is English. And English from another era. »
“Mick Strauss”, the other side of the co-founder of Moriarty
A voice and an identity that can be felt on one of his two current musical projects, which will be touring again this summer, “Mick Strauss”, a group founded in 2018 in Douarnenez, with musicians from all walks of life: Jennifer Hutt (who notably toured with Bonnie’Prince’Billy), on strings and keyboards, Vincent Talpaert (“Don Cavalli”, “Mustang”), on b, Brendan de Roeck (“Raincheck”), Rowen Berrou “Electric Bazar Cie”, and especially The Wacky Jugs, recently crowned blues world champions, on drums. “I’m on b,” says Arthur B. Gillette.
“Mick Strauss”, one of the other facets of Arthur B. Gillette, partly takes up “set aside pieces written with Moriarty”, what he calls the room of the refused. It is also the result of travels and writing work carried out in 2019, in southern states of the United States and along the great diagonal New Orleans and Arizona, ping through Minnesota and Missouri, “following the obtaining a scholarship”.
These almost mystical texts, drawn from the Native American tribes, and these strange sound recordings captured in the middle of nature tell stories and paint the portrait of an America that is both familiar and completely alienated. We oscillate between different musical styles, from rock to blues and folk. The album, “Southern Wave” released in 2022 and was recorded at Le Millier studio, in Beuzec-Cap-Sizun, near Douarnenez, with a well-known sound engineer, Julien Le Vu, also Douarnenist. See you in Brest with “Mick Strauss” on August 3 at Jeudis du Port.
The other Arthur B. Gillette project that is currently a hit is undeniably Astereotypie. Acclaimed by critics and the public, this incredible group, founded a few years ago, but which is only now experiencing real success, with a solid tour, features four young autistic rockers, who claim their lyrics “in a raw and intuitive. “The project, says Gillette, was born thanks to a colleague, Christophe L’Huillier (a Finisterian from Hanvec), guitarist and specialist educator, who led a poetry workshop in a medical-educational institute (IME) in Bourg-la- Queen (Hauts-de-Seine).
“We are not guides, we are a real group! »
The group of four young autistic singer-songwriters and four professional musicians today puts to music texts produced in the writing workshop, which tell their daily life and their vision of the world. “We are not guides, specifies Arthur. We are a real rock band! It’s often intensive and repetitive work, but what a joy to play on stage! “. The group is making a stopover in Lopérhet (Finistère) this Sunday, May 28, from 4 p.m. (entry at €7, reservations by following this link). The evening-concert organized by the ociation Club Rade Pion offers for the occasion a “punchy” program in these places bordering the harbor of Brest which lend themselves perfectly to it. In the meantime, Arthur continues his ball(s) between the seaside and his attic, an inexhaustible source of inspiration.