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Michael Jones, before his free concert in Vailly-sur-Sauldre, Sunday: “Le Cher? A place I know well”

Marie-France Mellot, president of the Vailly-sur-Sauldre festival committee, had been hoping to bring him in for several years. His wish has been granted for this 2022 edition, because Michael Jones will be the headliner of the musical entertainment offered at the Henri-Baudet stadium this weekend.

The 70-year-old Franco-Welsh singer, known in particular for having sung with Jean-Jacques Goldman, will play tomorrow. Several artists will follow one another on stage from 5 p.m. Michael Jones will offer the public of Vailly-sur-Sauldre songs from a career spanning 50 years, between titles performed during this period in solo, duet or trio.

You come to sing this Sunday in Vailly-sur-Sauldre, is it a region you know??

It’s a place I know well. I especially appreciate the gastronomy, it’s the only thing we have time to enjoy when we go somewhere.

What are you going to offer the public of Vailly-sur-Sauldre for this concert??

It’s a retrospective of my career. Of course, Fredericks Goldman Jones (the trio he composed with Jean-Jacques Goldman and Carole Fredericks in the 1990s, Editor’s note) takes a big part of my career, because it was a very popular moment for us. So we cover a lot of Fredericks Goldman Jones songs, but trying to do them differently, that is to say a little more rock. There’s even a song that will be a parody too. But I will not say what, I will not reveal all the secrets ?!

The summer festivities are back in Vailly-sur-Sauldre, with Michaël Jones headlining

How do you choose the songs for a concert after such a long career??

What inspired me for the repertoire were the people. I had launched a survey on the Internet asking people what they wanted to hear. The list was very long in what they answered, allowing us to choose. I went to Nashville (United States) where precisely the musicians and the groups which played the songs chosen by people and I found that brilliant. I find this interaction with the public interesting.

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You said the stage was your “sandbox”, is it really your playground??

Exactly, that’s where I have fun. So as long as I’m having fun, I’ll keep going.

How have you seen audiences evolve over time?

The audience obviously changes as we age. What’s funny is that those who came to see us 40 years ago come today with their children and even their grandchildren?! The change is that there are very young people, which there weren’t when we started. It’s a very large audience, I think that’s great. It’s especially interesting when you do a show with other artists like that will be the case on Sunday at Vailly. Young people will be there to see other artists and not necessarily me. When they hear a song, they look for the lyrics on their mobile, because they are used to reading the texts, I find that funny. It’s time that evolves, the means of communication are no longer the same. Today, we can have the texts of the songs instantly whereas before, we had to know them by heart.

Cephaz, who participates with you in The Goldman Legacy, a collective album that revisits Goldman’s great songs, will be on stage on Sunday. What do you like about this artist?

We tried to choose young artists who corresponded to the spirit we had in Fredericks Goldman Jones. There is a real mix between old and young artists, which is very interesting. We don’t necessarily have the same musical universes, but the music brings us together.

The first volume of Goldman Heritage has a gospel tinge while the second, which will be released in early 2023, is more Celtic.

Since there was a mix between the generations on this album, we had to find a way to interpret the songs differently. It was the most original way to broaden the spectrum of songs.

Celine Dion will sing on the second volume of L’Héritage Goldman. How was this collaboration organised?

Erick Benzi, the producer of this album, who made the arrangements for Fredericks Goldman Jones, among others, worked on Céline’s album Two (released in 1995, editor’s note). It’s a personal story.

What connection do you have today with Jean-Jacques Goldman??

Bonds of friendship, because above all we are friends. We haven’t been able to see each other since the Covid, we meet on the Internet.

What do you think of his choice to retire??

I respect his decision, it’s not for me to decide for him, or for others. He decided to put an end to his career as an artist and I respect him.

Interview by Guillaume Faucheron

Gigs. The concerts begin today, at 6 p.m., at the Henri-Baudet stadium with the Affoubertis, ball with Thibault Colas and the magazine Grain de folie. Shows start at 5 p.m. tomorrow with Jace, Tibz, Cephaz and Michael Jones headlining.


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