Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Music Lyrics

Minor Dedications

by (author) J.F. ROBITAILLE

photographs by Various

Book*hug Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2016
Lyrics, General, General
  • Unknown

    Publish Date
    Jun 2016
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Minor Dedications is the first collection of songs and poems of Montreal singer-song writer J.F. Robitaille. Brimming with the fullness of his language, these texts are interspersed with playful line drawings by Robitaille and responses to his lyrics by 11 contemporary photographers that illuminate the soulfulness of his verse in provocative ways. Together with a copy of Robitaille's newest album Palace Blues that comes with the book, Minor Dedications will give fans and new listeners alike the opportunity to experience an orchestration of J.F. Robitaille's artistry that affirms him as a master of desire with a perceptive eye and ear powerfully attuned to his generation.

About the authors

Montreal-bred songwriter JF Robitaille is no stranger to lofty expectations. Yes, he's long been celebrated as one of the most engaging songwriters North of the 49--a fact evident even in his earliest days, when he fronted indierock outfit the Social Register in the aughts--but with 2013's Rival Hearts, the world began to take notice. After the album charted in Germany, he found himself playing for large crowds at Hamburg's fabled Reeperbahn Festival along with several other gigs throughout that country. Robitaille's international rep began to resemble his accolades in Canada. Here, a troubadour cut from the same cloth as Leonard Cohen. Or Nick Drake. Or Bob Dylan.

Those hat-tips were undoubtedly flattering--as was the appearance of Rival Hearts on plenty of year-end lists, including his hometown newspaper, the Montreal Gazette--but they also set an imposing precedent. Thankfully, with his third full-length, entitled "Palace Blues", Robitaille has delivered on those expectations--just not in the way you'd expect. Robitaille's literary penchant and sophisticated song craft may still get him Cohen comparisons, but unlike Leonard's Songs of Love and Hate, you'd never find him sipping scotch in the basement of theMatador. Because, as Robitaille has admitted, this is certainly not a folk album.

His whispery vocals still guide the affairs, but with this album, he lets his arrangements do much of the storytelling. Take, for instance, the melancholic "December Moon," where Robitaille nearly lets his lyrics fall into the background, instead letting rollicking guitars and nocturnal organs paint a picture. Or "Missing You," where he taps Canadian indie-rock mainstay Julie Doiron (Eric's Trip) to add bright dabs of vocal colour to his detached delivery.

More than anything, this album is about transition--no, he may not buy into picture-book romance, but Robitaille was a one-time believer. He's an ideologue at his core, but he's not gullible. He's an introspect, but he's earned the patina that only comes with countless passport stamps. And musically, he's not Canada's answer to Bob Dylan or Nick Drake--he's J.F. Robitaille, and he's delivered his most actualized album yet.

Complimenting this new album, Robitaille also brings us a new book! "Minor Dedications" is the title of his first collection of lyrics and poems. It is brimming with the fullness of his language, with his poetry being interspersed by playful line drawings that illuminate the soulfulness of his verse.

Also included are colourful and haunting picture interpretations to the lyrics of his new album by 11 contemporary photographers. Together with a copy of the album/CD "Palace Blues" (which is included inside the book),"Minor Dedications" will give his fans and new readers/listeners alike, the opportunity to experience J.F. Robitaille's artistry which affirms him as a master of desire, with a perceptive eye and ear powerfully attuned to his generation.

The book, with a free CD enclosed will be released by SparksINK and Toronto book publisher BookThug on June 17, 2016--the same day his new CD, "Palace Blues" will be released via Sparks Music/Universal in Canada and via INgrooves internationally.

J.F. ROBITAILLE's profile page

Celia Barker Lottridge is a writer and storyteller who has written several highly acclaimed children's books, including Ticket to Curlew (winner of the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Historical Fiction Award), Berta: A Remarkable Dog (nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet Award, Horn Book starred review) and Stories form the Life of Jesus (Publisher's Weekly starred review). She wrote Home Is Beyond the Mountains after hearing her mother's stories about growing up in Persia and after reading letter's written by Celia's aunt, Susan Shedd. Born in Iowa and raised in the United States, Celia now lives in Toronto.

Various' profile page

Editorial Reviews


"...we see that this young bard has been compared to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen...but JF Robitaille's songs are so original that no comparisons are necessary!" Der Spiegel Magazine(Germany)

"...honest stories inspired by human experiences." Filter Magazine

"...Robitaille's music can evoke Lou Reed in it's detachment and Leonard Cohen in it's dark lyricism." Montreal Gazette

"...he wears his heart on his sleeve." National Post

Other titles by Various