Allan Fraser

Portrait of Allan Fraser by Rod MacIvir

Allan Fraser

Born in St. Stephen in 1948, Allan Fraser is a folk musician and songwriter. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he formed a duo called Fraser & DeBolt with Daisy DeBolt, and they released two albums under Columbia Records.

Fraser & DeBoltFraser and DeBolt first met at a workshop during the 1968 Mariposa Folk Festival, where they bonded over their mutual appreciation for each other’s singing. They soon became musical partners and spent a lot of time working on material, including hitchhiking daily from Toronto to Hamilton, Ontario. In the summer of 1969, they officially became a duo and began performing together.

In 1970, Fraser & DeBolt embarked on a coffee house circuit tour in the United States, where they received an invitation from Jay K. Hoffman, Ravi Shankar’s manager, to audition for a recording contract. They performed at the Fillmore East in New York City and were subsequently signed to Columbia Records.

Their debut album was recorded in Toronto with the help of violinist Ian Guenther and producer Craig Allen. Upon its release in January 1971, the album received critical acclaim, with one critic stating that it had moments that were both humorous and touching. Fraser & DeBolt continued to tour and perform across Canada and the United States, and they represented North America at the International Song Festival in Sopot, Poland in 1974.

Fraser & DeBolt

The duo broke up not long after, but their story was told in an episode of Adrienne Clarkson Presents on CBC-TV in November 1994. Their first album was still being played on WFMU radio station in Jersey City, New Jersey in 2004. Fraser’s songs have been covered by several artists, including John Oates and The Duhks.

The Canadian music trade paper, “The Record”, explained the duo’s significance when it wrote, “Fraser & DeBolt were the greatest Canadian band never to have made it.” 

Allan Fraser lived in Montreal from 1994 with artist Donna Louthood until her death in 2011. He has three grown children: Kaya Fraser, Jade Fraser, and Simon Fraser, who is also a musician.

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