He found it pretty amazing to begin with, but it was sitting in a Montreal studio and listening to musicians cut some of his songs that it really sunk in.
“It became real, there were faces and voices and it became real,” Ron Bourgeois said. “It’s a growing story, and my emotions change as we move forward with this project.”
A producer, musician and songwriter, Bourgeois is being honoured this week for his contributions to Acadian and French language music with the release of a tribute CD.
The album features 19 artists from across Canada and the United States paying tribute to Bourgeois by singing material he has written over his three decades in the industry.
Among the artists on the CD are Teresa Ennis, BLOU, Mary Jane Lamond and Mathieu D’Astous — all four will perform with Bourgeois at a CD-release party at the World Trade and Convention Centre on Saturday.
Bourgeois said his interest in music began as a youngster growing up in Cheticamp, Cape Breton. The francophone community had to create its own entertainment — and that meant everyone took part.
That community eventually grew to include the whole of eastern Canada, as he became part of a larger community – helping to produce events and also performing as a singer-songwriter.
“I considered myself a songwriter in the sense that I was writing for myself as a performer,” said Bourgeois.
“I was the performer accepting these songs, that all changed for me when people started calling me asking for songs.”
He said the first time that happened was in the early 1980s. It was a friend who asked to record Bourgeois’ songs, so while it was unique, it also felt like he was simply sharing material.
“When you got people who weren’t close friends delving into your catalogue, then it is very gratifying,” he said.
“It means your peers recognize the value of your work.”