The Duo

The duo, Bleu Charrette, was born in 2015 after musical love at first sight (and sound)  when James Armstrong from the UK (singer-songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist) met Sacha Touw from Holland (singer-songwriter, harmonica player and percussionist) both living in France.
Although coming from very different cultural backgrounds, an immediate spark brought them and their music together to create the alchemy of Bleu Charrette.

James Armstrong

James started his musical career as a teenager in London during the sixties as singer and drummer in a school rock group, Mad Eye, who played original compositions and Cream, Hendrix, Dylan and Doors covers. After leaving school he switched to guitar and harmonica, playing in folk clubs in the North-West of England while at University and then singing and playing bass guitar in a showband, Checkmate, while beginning a career as a French and Drama teacher at the end of the seventies.

During the eighties he began writing and performing his own compositions as a soloist but also in various groups, including Heads on Springs with the poet, artist and co-founder of the Stuckist art movement, Charles Thomson. (www.stuckism.com) and Double Vision with artist, Jane Hosgood.

Then followed a very folky period during the nineties when he played melodeon with the Sandgate Hoodeners, The Loose Women Morris side and sang and played guitar and melodeon with the Irish Band, Drowsie Maggie, which he founded with Emily Godden, now with the BBC Welsh Orchestra. The Millenium saw him leaving teaching and becoming a children's poet and song writer, touring all round the UK and at the same time founding and playing in the groups, Ragland Road, The River Gypsies and in 2011, the trio Armstrong and Shoesmith with whom he recorded an album of original compositions - Paradise Row in 2012.  During this time he also co-founded the Sandwich Folk Festival

In 2013 he moved to France, and after founding Bleu Charrette with Arnaud Bordes in 2015 he met Sacha Touw who joined the group. They became a duo in 2016 and recorded the album 'Signs and Wonders' together in December 2016.
His work reflect his deep roots in folk and blues with a dash of pop and rock thrown in.  He writes haunting melodies with lyrics steeped in poetry: ballads of love and loss, humorous musings on life and story-songs from the past, both true and imaginary. 


Sacha Touw

Always passionately involved in music and dancing from a very young age, as a singer Sacha was a late developer but has made up for it since. She was already a mother when musician friends invited to join the pop-rock band, Blof, as lead vocalist. On her arrival in the Lot in 2005, she joined the Prayssac Song Workshop, then run by singer-songwriter Claude Préchac. They started writing songs together and six years later formed the duo, Jazzmospheric. They performed together for five years all over the South-West of France.
At the same time she began playing diatonic harmonica and joined the Choral Society, Les Marottins in Gindou (46) where she discovered the magic of harmony and developed her vocal talents as a soprano.
At the end of 2015, she met James Armstrong who asked her to join Bleu Charrette and thus she was able to rediscover her first loves: folk, blues, pop and old time country.
Her powerful, clear and sensuous voice blends perfectly with James' singing as they take it in turns to harmonise with one another and with the addition of her harmonica and percussion to the mix a magical new dimension of sound  has emerged which they are now happily exploring.