Festival Country Rendez-vous de Craponne 2009





The 22nd edition of the festival Country Rendez-vous in Craponne sur Arzon was held from July 24 to 26. Three days where press conferences and concerts followed each other, which themselves has left space for visiting the many stands on site.

On Friday mid-morning, the influx of visitors was significant, remembering me the Saturday from last year with the arrival of a Dierks Bentley. If the poor weather always seems to be waiting for you since Day-1, the rain didn't come to ruin the festival as it did last year. The country rendezvous started out smoothly like any show. The festival began with the young French singer from Madagascar Tahiana whose freshness and spontaneity allowed us to start the festival on a lighter touch but it is nonetheless a very interesting one. Note a special tribute to singer Jo De Messina by Tahiana. Arrived in early evening came the turn of Paula Nelson, daughter of the famous singer, that gave us a well-constructed show to the delight of the crowd. Paula was undoubtedly one of the artists who showed the most attention to her audience and the press, with her constant availability and a rare kindness. Quite a country rock show for this outlaw by birth. The artist who succeeded her was WC Edgar whose music was more traditional than rock contrary to what implied his attitude. An artist who unleashed his joy to be present that evening. The "main event" of the evening if one can call it that, was the coming of the Flatenders that performed to nearly 10 000 people.


I just grew up listening to traditional country music, Kenny Roger, Dolly Parton - Tahiana


"Country music is starting to be listened to everywhere in the world, it has no more borders, it’s an American music but there are a lot of artists from abroad ..." - Tahiana


"I was born a Outlaw and I continue down that road" - Paula Nelson



"I grew up with famous people without knowing they were particularly famous"

- Paula Nelson






W.C. Edgard and daughter




"My father did not force me to play" - Edgar’s daughter...  


... "Tell them you have a conventional education, but you've changed because you wanted a free trip to France" - W.C. Egard


Owen Temple and his musicians


"Red Wine & Tequila does not mix well, believe me, I wrote this song on the bathroom floor of a hotel between nausea and inspiration, but at least a song came out. It was a California wine and not a french one. "- Owen Temple



A first day marked by an increasing number of visitors suggesting a fully booked weekend.

It was very interesting to see that this is what happened. Saturday was a day where the heat was overwhelming but not as much as the artistic set planned for that day. We have to admit using half words for European or American festivals lovers like me and heavens knows they are becoming more numerous, Friday left me hungry for more. Saturday was different. One of the most popular duos in French country appeared, the long awaited Marie Dazzler and Vicky Layne, who have shown us once again that their complicity is magic on stage. Just the once will not hurt, the duo was joined for the length of a song by the delightful Mary of Mary & Co. It seems to me that these 3 women are often associated together, it will be fully investigated. But the biggest surprise so far was the discovery of the Canadian Women's band, consisting exclusively of 6 girls, don’t worry we counted more than once, The Figs. Bluegrass music or at least hard to classify that left a good impression by their nature.

A good thing for the festival. But it is only then that it finally produced what was expected of it, its reputation of being one of the largest in France, showing us artists that are really worth the trip. Between the young yet talented Paul Eason and his "Mountains of Nuevo León," which revealed a true love for country music and Texas, the evening took off with the arrival of Carrie Hassler & Hard Rain and their famous NewGrass. A flawless band for a unique festival. For an evening, Carrie and her angelic voice, accompanied by her musicians with a unique talent, had such an enchanting rhythm, a spell, lulled our dreams of starry thoughts.

Psalms changed, the wand too, like the immortal Morgan, Jo Dee Messina, who even if she does not have much news, made us dream with her talent and voice. A world-class presence for a unique show. Among some famous tunes and some new ones, Jo showed that even after having a child and some business problems with her record company, Jo’s singing talent remains intact. Too bad that the artist was one of the less available to the press, overprotected by her manager and husband, which little can be said of his lack of cooperation.

Another good thing for this festival as in the case of many other events, it could have been the highlight of the evening, but the show did not end there. It was just an preview, a major one. Yes, the young composer and singer from Virginia who can’t stop going up in Nashville is about to go on stage, I refer of course to Eric Church. While most viewers were probably surprised by his pretty country-rock style, his show unleashed power, it was simply mind blowing. Between the craziness of his musicians and his facial expressions on stage, Eric showed that the "regular Joe" that he is, has a real talent. A constant presence, appropriate texts and a singer who stay close to his public, a true artist as he likes to be called, he doesn’t take himself seriously. If is unfortunate that he is overprotected like Jo Dee Messina, I would tell you that you will soon find an exclusive interview with Eric Church to CMP at the event, yes we are indeed the French reference on US culture. A Saturday which proved that the festival could compete with the biggest European events in Northern Europe. A very good thing!



Marie Dazzler & Vicky Layne




"On stage we have fun first, we choose songs that we like, we try to please everybody"

- Vicky Layne







"It was a small mix due in part to our two bands [...] It's not like Mahogany Spirit, it is different, it is not an acoustic performance, we sing a lot of our songs, some were rearranged for the occasion. "

- Marie Dazzler







“It is true that now there’s whole lot of dancers, so it’s  better to get along with them than go in the opposite direction of the wind, otherwise it quickly becomes unmanageable. But at the same time it is important not to compromise on the music we like. "

 - Vicky Layne



"Lafayette is a city where music is very important and we were all living there at the time. Caroline wanted to found a women’s band and we began in her garage and we learned to play together."

- The Figs








“It's sometimes impressive be a band of women in a predominated male field."

- The Figs




"We are more cute being a group of girls" - The Figs




Gillian the artist of the band


"It is difficult to classify us musically because we are diverse and we bring different things to the union.”

- The Figs


Carrie Hassler & The Hard Rain



"At first I did not particularly want to sing bluegrass, but I loved to listen to this style, and as soon as I started to sing, I knew this was what I wanted to do."

- Carrie Hassler




"This band has always been my favorite, playing with them is a dream come true."

- Zach gilmer






"I'm really happy in life now, but one thing is certain, the more we lived experiences in life, the easier it is to write a song."

- Jo Dee Messina



"Everything evolves, sometimes it's just an adjustment like how the disks are distributed by record companies these days, but if you want to keep up the pace, you must be aware of what is happening and be on top. We need
 to adapt to stay in the game. "

- Jo Dee Messina






If the night of Saturday till Sunday for most people sleeping there was synonymous with a extreme cold, Sunday saw once again the return of an impressive sun. The final day began gently with The Toy Heart, an English band who marveled the audience with a hight level of instrumental music and perhaps also by the presence of two young female singers very charming. The Festival’s programming was certainly less impressive than the day before but still interesting. If you should not be confused the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash with a tribute band and heaven knows they are many of them, the good surprise at the end of the festival was the discovery of the lovely Star DeAzlan, young latino who sang in English, Spanish and French with Édith Piaf's signature song "La Vie en Rose." A good performance for an artist who left many men speechless. If we won’t talk about her genuine smile, this young Texan surprised us with a fresh and an attractive natural look. We will monitor this artist and the upcoming release of her first album. Since one piece of good news deserves another, Jeff Griffith who succeeded our lone star, appeared with the pure traditional style, I mean with his lyrics and not his instruments. Nothing to do with the old country but it reminds me of that country from the 90s before the recent wave of new country, a music that tells a story, from ordinary people like you and me in America. A performance which received the unanimous approval of the audience; it’s the proof that it was necessary to stay to the end. And we must admit that Sunday afternoon saw a significant drop in attendance compared to the rest of the festival but the motivation is always the same.


Some information about the name Star DeAzlan: Aster is my mother name of Persian origin, Star is the English translation. DeAzlan means "From the Aztec Land" from the country of the Aztecs.




"I want to wait for a third single before releasing my first album, but you can expect it for the fall."

- Star DeAzlan





I will sing a song in French for the first time. My father always told me that one day I will sing in France and I had to learn a song in French, being a big fan of Édith Piaf, I’ll sing "La vie en Rose” for you.

- Star DeAzlan







“Being a Hispanic from Texas, I have the best of both worlds, I always try to sing Spanish songs during my shows."

- Star DeAzlan








I think the record companies have to do what they have to do but are afraid to take risks.

- Star DeAzlan







"There are many good musicians in Texas. For some reason some of them leave for Nashville, where there are also very good musicians, but others also come back."

- Paul Eason







"I love bluegrass but my heart belongs to traditional country music."

- Jeff griffith







This 2009 version of the Festival Country Rendez-vous in Craponne sur Arzon proved to be positive as a whole, furthermore it has exceeded the quality and the record attendance of the previous edition. A special note for the many volunteers and participants involved with the festival who really proved their love for country music and a job well done. However, as Craponne impresses with its artistic set in France, winning the prize over Swiss and Germans Events, can Craponne compete against the rise of Irish & English festivals? because his main challenger is now in Ireland


We invite you to go on the Sheppard website to see the pictures from the festival: Photo Gallery



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