French Coast Café is a trio of musicians from the Washington, DC area who play what we call French World Music. With Carole Bausell on vocals and percussion, Duane Siler on guitar, and Larry Golfer on electric bass, the group’s niche is both classic and contemporary. We play mostly French music from France as well as French-speaking Canada and other Francophone countries. The music includes French classics, samba, jazz. gypsy jazz, blues, Cajun/Zydeco and world music.
French Coast Café started as a duo of Carole and Larry performing tunes in French for small audiences in the Lake Barcroft community of Fairfax County, Virginia in 2014 and early 2015. Carole is a native of Delaware and came by her love of French music while living in Paris where she sang French songs and studied acting at the Conservatoire Nationale d’Art Dramatique. She came to love the music of Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens and other famous French singers. A fluent French speaker herself, Carole has been singing and playing guitar pretty much her entire life and recently added percussion to the group’s sound.
Larry is a native of Washington, DC, a professional photographer, and also a fluent French speaker . He worked in the field of international development including projects in French West Africa, Latin America,and Asia, and these travels influenced his already growing fascination with world music. He is a big fan of samba, Afrobeat, blues, jazz, reggae and celtic sounds. After meeting Carole, he came into her sphere of French world music, including Cajun-Zydeco. DC has a great Cajun-Zydeco dance community and Larry and Carole are frequent dancers at local Cajun-Zydeco dances and concerts. That music started to have a strong effect on Larry and he joined Carole at Cajun Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia and at Festivale Internationale in Lafayette, Louisiana. Larry is French Coast Café’s bass man and also plays blues harmonica.
Here they are performing at a Mardi Gras party in February.
Based on the success of those duo performances, Carole and Larry asked friend and fellow musician Duane Siler, an accomplished guitarist and member of the “Improbables” and the “Carter Farm Band,” to join the group to add his rich fingerstyle guitar playing to the complete the sound the group was looking for. Duane is a long-time aficionado of Brazilian music and “manouche” (gypsy) jazz.