Comprised of Lynae and Denis Dufresne, Pear has been labelled as ‘the most accomplished band you've never heard of.’
Where/Who: Budweiser Gardens. Pear opens for Johnny Reid on Saturday, December 14, 7:30 p.m. Call 1-866-455-2849 to charge by phone.
Pear: Sweet ’n’ Gritty
- John Sharpe
At one time the husband-and-wife team of Lynae and Denis Dufresne fronted a popular group known as Barrage. When the duo left that group they decided to strike out on their own under the name Pear. While Pear has not yet reached the pinnacle of the country-pop mountain, the duo have slowly been inching their way to the top. The band third's single, ‘This Ain’t A Love Song,’ from their debut album, Sweet ’n’ Gritty (Chronograph Records), won the International Songwriting Competition in 2012 for the country genre and this year they were named the Group of The Year by The Association of Country Music in Alberta. Their profile will surely get another boost at the conclusion of their current tour with country star Johnny Reid.
“Originally, an American group had been booked to tour with Johnny and he was pretty loyal. He told his people 'no disrespect to American groups, but if we're going across Canada let's bring a Canadian band that we want people to know,'” said Denis. “Lynae and I had actually played a show with him a couple of years ago and he said, 'I remember these guys and I want them.' He asked for us personally, which is a very big honour. They asked us to come out a do Victoria and Vancouver and after he saw the crowd's reaction he said, 'you have to come straight across the country with us.' Pretty cool.”
Scene spoke with Denis the night following Pear’s performance with Reid in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and he said he was thrilled with the way the tour has been received so far. Of course, they’re excited to be on the same bill as Reid, knowing it will aid the duo in gaining new fans.
“We're in Saskatoon, so they're still on a high from winning the Grey Cup. There was a lot of green in the audience. It was high energy and a really responsive crowd. And Johnny's great every night. The guy can do no wrong. We knew it would be a big opportunity for us. In fact, we had to cancel some other contracts, but everyone's been really great about it. We told all the clients we were working with what had been offered to us and they were willing to reschedule a number of concerts for us so we could go out with Johnny.”
Getting back to Pear’s aforementioned hit single, ‘This Ain’t A Love Song,’ Denis chuckled when asked about the origins of the tune and how it came about. As in many cases, the back story can be just as interesting as the song itself.
“We go down to Nashville quite a far bit and co-write with other people, so much of the time you're working with people you've never met. All they know about you is what they've learned from the Internet or what you tell them. They know that we're a married couple, so we go in and they say 'we've got this great idea for a love song.' Well, at the end of a three-week writing trip, we don't want to write another damn love song. In fact, I wanted to write an anti-love song, something gritty. We ended up writing the ultimate love song anyway, you can't really fight it. It's done really well for us and helped put us on the map. That song has garnered us festival appearances and two tours across Canada, so far. Now we're going into the States and we've been asked to come over to Europe, just from a three-minute video that's on our website.”
Finally, Denis was kind enough to answer a question he’s been asked a million times: Where did the name Pear come from? There are a lot of bands named after animals, but a select few are named after a fruit.
“We toyed with the idea of 'pair' as in just the two of us but we thought it just sounded dumb. A friend of ours from CBC Radio said you should call yourself 'pear' and do the symbol of the fruit. We thought that idea was ridiculous at first and then we looked up the meaning of the word in a dictionary and it said 'sweet and gritty.' We figured that described the two of us and the music we were making. We also liked the fact that there was a symbol because when we toured China in our previous group, Barrage, there was no translation for that word so they made up a new name for us. We figured with Pear we would have a symbol that's universal.”