Q&A with Dominique Fricot of The Folk Road Show


Photo Credit: Emily J. V. Wood

Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dominique Fricot is hitting the road across Canada and Europe with The Folk Road Show. As a dream project made up of Olaf Caarls (Long Conversations), Benjamin James Caldwell (Broken Down Suitcase) and Pieter Van Vliet (Port Of Call), The Folk Road Show revives the concept of the live roadshow, updating it for a modern audience. We caught up with Fricot ahead of his stops in Kamloops and Kelowna to see how the tour’s been so far.


Describe a typical day of The Folk Road Show.

We like our sleep, so we roll out of bed 10 or 11. We also like our breakfast and Olaf [Caarls] is in love with how greasy restaurants are constantly warming up your coffee. Touring Canada requires driving so shortly after breakfast we hit the road. Ben [Caldwell] usually drives, and we listen to CD’s from musicians we’ve met in the towns we’ve played. At some point on the drive, we’ll see a river or lake we have to jump in so we stop. Ben and I will do the latest exercise we’ve invented. Most recently this has been knees up burpies with a twist. We hop in the lake and then drive on to our next our stop. We play, sing, sell cd’s, make new friends, eat a late dinner and pass out.

What have you learned about each other as people as well as musicians?

Benjamin [Caldwell] is the queen of schadenfreude and is one of the most resourceful guys I know. If we didn’t have him fixing our van every two tour stops, I don’t know what we’d do.

Pieter [Van Vliet] loves cookies and while he reads books in English faster than any of the native English speakers he can’t pronounce idea (‘id-ee’).

Olaf [Caarls] is smart as a whip, great with kids and while as cordial as can be most of the day, not really into conversation before noon. Wake him up with a coffee in your hand.

What do you believe each person brings to the table in The Folk Road Show? 

We accept each other for who we are and share a great friendship. I think that’s the sound and energy that people pick up on when they hear us sing together.

Is there a sense of brotherhood, where you guys discover craft secrets from each other?

For sure. We’ve started writing as a group recently and when you do that you definitely pick up on each other’s tricks and styles.

Besides car troubles with Helena, what other unexpected turn of events have taken The Folk Road Show by surprise?

We had rolled up to Sandy Lake, Manitoba for a hotel show. It seemed it was gonna be one of our less enjoyable shows. The venue owner hadn’t notified us we’d need our own PA and we didn’t have one. We bumped into a table of rowdies who were pretty quick to start making fun of us and we were in the mood to have fun with them. They said they couldn’t stay for the show but wanted to hear us play. Half of us didn’t want to do it, but I got my guitar. We ended up playing them 4 songs and they invited us to put on a back yard show the next week in High Bluff, Manitoba on one of our days off. It ended up being a great experience making new friends and playing hilarious unexpected performances.

The Folk Road Show is going to have their first recording in Lethbridge. I’d love to know the story behind it.

We have a good friend in Lethbridge who has a band, The Coal Creek Boys, and a recording studio in his basement. JP [Smith] expressed interest in taking a couple days to do a live raw recording so we made time to take a couple days off to make an EP together.

Can you tell us what will be on the recording? 

A mixture of a cover or two, a couple songs from each of us that were written independently and a new song we wrote together that has the name of our temperamental van, Helena. A new favourite of ours.

Traveling all over western Canada, you get to see a lot of interesting things. What are you most looking forward to performing in the Okanagan? 

The lakes we’ll get to jump in during the day. Stoked to have a day off in Kelowna and show Pieter [Van Vliet] and Olaf [Caarls] a good day on a boat. Fingers crossed.

The concept of the folk road show, and acoustic folk music are tied together. What do you find awesome about folk instruments like the banjo or the harmonica? What do you think these instruments are able to convey and express that is unique to them?

We love playing house concerts more than anything cuz there isn’t smoke and mirrors. It’s just our voices and the instruments in their rawest forms, which is how we started playing together in Europe last fall.

What are your plans after the tour?

Taking 10 days off in Vancouver, beaching it, hanging out with friends before heading back over to Europe to do it all again in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and France.

The Folk Road Show will be performing at Fernando’s Monday July 20, and Music In The Park Tuesday July 21.

Fernandos – 279 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna V1Y 1J6

Music In the Park – Riverside Park, 100 Lorne Street, Kamloops



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