Open Road

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OPEN ROAD : the story…

OPEN ROAD is a duet that lived from 1994 to 1999.

In 1994, François BORNE, native of Lille, and Jef “Aérosol” PERROY, from Nantes, decided to share their passions for acoustic music, intimate atmospheres, and a certain idea of ​​”songwriting”.

Their respective past experiences range from folk to rock and pop box ! At the confluence of these influences, the duo was able to forge a very personal style, gradually moving away from the Celtic imprint that marked very clearly its beginnings (as evidenced by the first two records “LAGADJAR” and “MORRIGAN’S DREAM”, recorded by Marc Bernard at Studio Gorgone, in Lille, for Goto Productions). Indeed, these are original compositions that constitute the totality of “PEREGRINATIONS”, third CD OPEN ROAD eyeing as much to New York and San Francisco as Dublin or Lagadjar …

Open Road records are distributed by L’AUTRE DISTRIBUTION 


Steeped in Anglo-Saxon culture and fed by the legacy of great British and American songwriters, Jef and François write and sing in English. And if you have to name names, let’s say Donovan, Dylan, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Nick Drake, Mike Scott, Marc Bolan, Incredible String Band and Jackson C. Frank have frequent stays on their turntables …

The name of the duo comes from a Donovan album, released in 1970, which appears in the list of “bedside records” of Jef and François. Below, the word written by Donovan on Jef’s Open Road copy:

Before all guitarists-singers, the members of OPEN ROAD are nonetheless multi-instrumentalists and also use mandolus, bouzouki, dulcimer, bass, harmonica, bodhran etc … Their musician friends have often joined them on stage or in studio ( percussion, uillean pipes, flute, cello, violin and chorus …)


Between 1994 and 1999, the duo gave numerous concerts. Among them, some will remain in the memories:

  • To the Bateau-Feu (Dunkirk) at the festival “Zap Ireland” with De Dannan, Cran, Anuna …
  • Arcades (Fâches-Thumesnil) with Johan Asherton and Vera Clouzot.
  • On the barge 6/8 (Paris) for the release of the compilation “Songwriter”
  • With Tonynara at the Four Locks (Dunkirk)
  • Opening of the Levellers at the Aircraft (Lille), twice.


But the landmark concert in OPEN ROAD’s career was undoubtedly the one in which, at the head of the Lille Air Force in January 1997, the duo gathered more than 500 enthusiastic aficionados …

In 1996, Johan Asherton solicited Open Road for a compilation of French and Anglo-Saxon songwriters (Scott Appel, Stéphane Dambry, Christoph J., Andy White, Pina Kollars, Joan Asherton, Open Road, Leonardo, Doug Hoekstra) who was released at XIII Bis Records under the title “SONGWRITER, a contemporary collection”.

Again, Johan solicits Jef and François to appear on one of the tracks of his album “Tristero’s Empire”, released in 2002 (La Cave Production)

It was in Brussels that the duo went on to record their second album, at the WormStudio of Raquel and Rudy, from the Orion group. Michel Van Achter is in charge and François and Jef are surrounded by guests who bring some delicate touches to the rather clean songs selected for the CD (Sandy Simmons, Vincent Leutreau, JB Hoste, Olivier Borne, Xavier Laune …)


But, in 1999, shortly after the release of this record, François and Jef decided serenely to put an end to the OPEN ROAD experience in order to better devote themselves to their other projects …



… The great business of MORRIGAN’S DREAM (…) is the songwriting of aristocrats in the fields of François Borne and Jef Perroy. These two alchemists decaved spend their lives running the forest, in jabot and top hats nobiliaries, to hunt down a pastoral and elegant pop (…) that combines silk and humus, lace and fern .. .. (The Inrockuptibles, December 96)


… Far from the sound of machines, two majestic guitars, (…), and a repertoire that oscillates between traditional pieces and personal compositions … (Télérama, September 96)


… At the crossroads of folk, pop, and Celtic tradition, an interesting multi-instrumentalist duo, at the antipodes of all cultural dogmatism. (Guitar & Keyboards, November 96)


… OPEN ROAD is a Lille duo with shady and touching compositions, his first album (MORRIGAN’S DREAM) has just pointed the tip of his nose … (Best, December 96)


… Composed of magic …, (…), MORRIGAN’S DREAM, if life is honest, should seduce well beyond the circle of the initiated. (Presto, October 96)


… MORRIGAN’S DREAM is a real work of professionals, beautifully presented and recorded in the Lille GORGONE studios. (…) This is a wonderful introduction to the melancholy and poetic universe of this subtle group, between Waterboys and Led Zeppelin, period “Gallow’s Pole”, a real bath of youth .. (The Voice of the North, August 96)


… The acoustic music proposed by the two friends goes beyond the genres (…) The technique, the inventiveness, the emotion and more, it never misses: their concerts make fly. And the album that OPEN ROAD has just released, MORRIGAN’S DREAM, has some nice days in front of him … (Nord Eclair, July 96)


… Both musicians have an enviable command of both their equipment and material, and their claims of allegiance to the Incredible String Band, Nick Drake, Pearls Before Swine, Steeleye Span and Trees are for you. (Ptolemaic Terrascope, England, 96)


… Jef Aerosol and François Borne skilfully mix tender songs with Celtic roots, Donovan Leitch. (…) OPEN ROAD have just released their first album “MORRIGAN’S DREAM”, a happy / bittersweet collection of touching songs. (Johan Asherton, booklet of “Songwriter”, 96)

… OPEN ROAD is one of the most original groups in the region, and their concerts are slaps that we remember! …(Ch’rock’s sheet, December 96)


… OPEN ROAD excels in a repertoire evoking traditional Irish music, Celtic folklore and some of the big names of the seventies (Donovan, Fairport Convention, or Pentangle). Without betraying this heritage, the twelve compositions of MORRIGAN’S DREAM nevertheless avoid the trap of the true copy. Recommended. (Exit, July 96)


… We find in “SONGWRITER” some of the best craftsmen of the vintage (…), as the Lille of OPEN ROAD whose annoying anonymity should not last longer given the quality of their respective compositions … (Magic, January 97)


… We have already said all the good that we think of OPEN ROAD (…) who, for a few months, we walk at the option of their “MORRIGAN’S DREAM” with a disconcerting ease (…) At l’Aéronef, the duo showed that the obvious is now to do with a public to count by the hundreds. (…) A little magic, as always, this new meeting with OPEN ROAD. Concert natural and moving simplicity … (Nord-Eclair, January 97)


Two guys from Lille wearing Mike Scott caps and frilly-fronted shirts. Jigs and ditties about banshees, the sun, magpies and the Giants’Causeway … (Folk Roots, G.B., May 97)


… Timeless songs in English, (…), warmth, neat arrangements and solid melodies are on the menu of this duet … (The Folk Duck, Belg., April 97)


… This two-headed entity is to rank in the rare category of French who appropriately own a certain idea of ​​folk-rock and Celtic music (…), it results in unique charm atmospheres .. (Best, August 97)


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