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Posted by
12040 posts

Is there such thing as "fake" French music?

Posted by
3696 posts

I also love the type of French music in the video... and often had a hard time finding it in Paris. So many of the bars and restaurants play cheesy 80s American music:( I always take my own music to play while I am driving or in my hotel room. Suggest you try and do the same. I hope someone comes up with a specific place for you that will be playing what we Americans think of as wonderful French music!

Posted by
32 posts

Yes there are, mjackson. That is why I gave the link.
I knew I would get comments on my use of "authentic", but didn't know how else to put it. (that is why I gave the link, lol)
Thanks Terry Kathryn, I agree it must be hard to find in Paris. But hopefully not impossible. I've been researching and really can't find what I am looking for.

Perhaps a local might know of a place or two?

Posted by
8293 posts

Maybe check out Pariscope or Time Out Paris.

Posted by
2251 posts

ely-throw your question and link up on the TA Paris Forum, there are some local folks there that may be able to help. I'm not sure what that genre would be called, but if it were American I'd call it easy listening ;-)

And please, let us know what you find?

Posted by
6727 posts

we enjoyed Le Vieux Belleville which is just above Parc Belleville. There is a French folk singer who then leads the crowd in song; they have sheets with the words although the locals and French tourists . The night we were there we were the only English speaking tourists. The people around us were locals taking friends and relatives from out of town out. People were very friendly and conversed with us in our bad French and their bad to good English. The food was fine. Here is our visit:

https://janettravels.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/le-vieux-belleville-non-je-ne-regrette-rien/

Posted by
32 posts

Janet, what an amazing time you had at Le Vieux Belleville. This would be something we would enjoy very much.
Thank you.

Posted by
6727 posts

Do reserve. As you can see from the photo journal we got there at 8:30 and were among the first -- we started dinner and by 9 the place was full.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks for the suggestion. I always enjoy reading TR's of your journeys.

Posted by
3486 posts

A subject dear to my heart ! Janet's recommendation looks great ( as always ) . We are back to Paris this Autumn and have stacked up a number of her ideas for our time there . I would like to bring up Terry Kathryn's comments --- A big issue with French " Chanson " is the changing demographic . When I was a boy , my father listened to this type of music all the time ( in the years following the War ) . I grew up with it and adore it now that I am near seventy . Among people of my generation , few are even aware of it , much less listen to it . For those of you who do appreciate this wonderful music , seek out singers like Yves Montand , Lucienne Delyle , Charles Trenet , ( of course , Piaf ) and others of the time . One of my favorites ( now gone , and largely forgotten ) is Jacqueline Francois . Listen here https://youtu.be/IURjNiWwOLk?list=PL09C77E1B3AEB2BE7 . and this particular song sung by Yves Montand https://youtu.be/wk0pW0qr860 Lovely stuff , this is just a sample !

Posted by
6511 posts

The music on the youtube link is commonly called French traditional accordion music. If you google this you might be able to find places in Paris that specialize in this type of music.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I think its sad this type of music is now so hard to find in Paris. We will be driving through the Loire Valley, possibly staying in Amboise as our base for touring the area, then on to La Rochelle. We will see if we can find this music along the way.

Posted by
8506 posts

Balajo is the traditional dance hall, opened in 1936, that still has one session a week of traditional music--called a tea dance:

Every Monday from 2pm to 7pm, Old Fashion Music with Liliane and Jo.
http://www.balajo.fr/
It's near Bastille and Gare de Lyon.
There will be an orchestra, accordion, musette, and other traditional dances. We used to go on Saturday nights with a bunch of our friends back in the 1970s before we all had kids. We'd dance till 4 am and walk home. Nowadays, every other day and time the music is all rock, salsa, etc. but Monday afternoon is reserved for the oldies. So not only will you get the music, but you'll see everyone doing the traditional dances and can join in.
I hope you report back no matter where you decide to go.

Posted by
11292 posts

"I think its sad this type of music is now so hard to find in Paris."

Do realize that what you're looking for is the equivalent of trying to find a place to hear Frank Sinatra or Doris Day playing in a restaurant or club in the US. While accordion music or Piaf may say "France" to foreigners, French people are listening to various newer sounds. There's nothing wrong with your request (I am the proud owner of a Piaf complete studio recordings 20 CD set, bought in Paris because it was much cheaper than here in the US), but music tastes change everywhere.

Posted by
32 posts

Harold, Yes I do understand that this type of music is of the past in France. However in the big cities here in the US I could find at least a place or two small venues that plays Sinatra like music. Not so sure about Doris Day.

Bets, le Balajo looks great. And in the area of our hotel.
Leslie, the gypsy jazz looks good too. Although I really love the accordion. Probably because my Mom played one.

I am finding there are a few places that may give me this kind of music, from a small band to a French accordion who sings Pilaf style and even a few with dancing. Its been great reading all the suggestions and I am checking out each one and making a list. It even looks like two possibilities are within walking distance to our hotel!

The beauty of this forum is all the useful and interesting help you can get from others. I really appreciate it.

Posted by
8506 posts

Anyone who follows these leads to traditional chanson and Gypsy jazz will have a great experience. I do want to say that the tradition of the "chanson" isn't as old and gone as one might think. There is great pride in and love of these songs in which the words and drama have an important role. IMHO, it's more embedded in the culture than our attachment to Sinatra and Minnelli.

Posted by
3486 posts

Sorry for that Bets , I probably overdid the melodrama . It's good to hear that it is alive , although unfortunately , not so much in the States . On a slightly different note ( no pun intended ) , Joseph Canteloube - " Chants D'Auvergne " https://youtu.be/YixuZcxSci8

Posted by
3696 posts

While you are home you can also play Jazz Radio for free on your computer. I listen to Paris Café all the time... no wonder I am always in the mood to travel.

Posted by
16941 posts

If you ride around on the Metro long enough, one of the buskers is likely to board with an accordion for a budget concert.

Posted by
32 posts

Seeing someone playing accordion on the metro would be very cool. But I only do busses and taxis. I like to stay above ground. : )

Posted by
198 posts

This question reminded me of something I read from Annabel Simms about La Guinguette Auvergnate and other guinguettes on the Marne. The one that Simms describes is an hour from Paris and sounds like it could be what you're looking for.

Posted by
32 posts

Janettravels has a lovely post about La Guinguette Auvergnate on her blog (thanks, Janet!) and this sounds exactly what I am looking for. It looks pretty easy to get to, also.

Posted by
12980 posts

@ Steven...let's not forget Rina Kelly and Lucienne Boyer in this category of authentic French music, which is, as you say, "lovely stuff." It really is, isn't it?

Posted by
3486 posts

Absolutely , Fred , Many more to mention . Even a singular song varies greatly in interpretation depending on the performer , love them all !

Posted by
32 posts

It looks like La Guinguette Auvergnate and Bajalo will satisfy my wish to experience French music in the style that I want while in Paris. Also the little cafes that have an accordion player at certain times. I knew there had to be something! Thank you everyone, for your great recommendations.
It is so nice to make travel plans and listen to this music.