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Garolou (initially called Lougarou) developed around the nucleus of the Lalonde brothers, Marc and Michel. Native Ontarians, the nomads reunited in 1974, as part of a theater troupe in Prince Edward Island. They soon found themselves in contact with first-rate musicians from the East Coast, notably guitarist George Antoniak and keyboardist Steven Naylor.

With the addition of drummer Michel “Stan” Deguire, the first line-up moved to the Laurentians, and quickly set to the task of building up a repertoire of valid rock music with progressive overtones. They found their repertoire from an unlikely source: archives of French-Canadian traditional folk music from noted musicologists such as Father Anselme Chiasson.

Although crowds were receptive to their brand of traditional rock music, record company executives were not forthcoming. In a gesture of faith, Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec, opened their doors to the group during off-hours, with the group owing nothing until they secured a recording contract with the finished masters.

Antoniak and Naylor would leave the group soon after their first album, to be replaced with guitarist Gilles Beaudoin and keyboardist Réginald Guay. (Beaudoin would leave before the third album, in turn replaced by Gaston Gagnon.) Although lineup changes are common, name changes are less so: faced with a lawsuit by a folk dance troupe with a similar title, the revitalized group settled on a replacement name.


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