World Music Wednesday: La Bottine Souriante
Learn more about this Canadian band that has brought traditional Quebecois music into the modern age.
World Music Wednesday is a weekly segment on The North 103.3 FM. Every Wednesday at 4pm on Northland Afternoon, we will feature a brand-new release or a significantly important past work from our vast library of music from around the world.
Support for World Music Wednesday comes from Simply Ballroom in Duluth's Craft District.
As winter starts to envelop the Northland, today's World Music Wednesday looks to our neighbors to the north. We spotlight the music of Quebecois band La Bottine Souriante. They originated from a region of Quebec called Lanaudière, just northeast of Montreal (notably, a region of Quebec that is at the same latitude as Duluth, Minnesota!).
Formed in 1976 by musicians Yves Lambert, Andre Marchand, and Mario Forest, the band brought back to the fore the traditional blend of Celtic and Acadian music roots from that region. One aspect of that music tradition are the rhythms played by their feet, a traditional percussion method from that region of Canada called "Podorythmie". In more recent years, adding to that sound in the group has been the noted dancer and choreographer Sandy Silva. Here, from their 1981 recording Les epousailles is the tune "Le reel des deux lisa (Le reel du cordonnier)".:
As is common for long-term traditional music ensembles, La Bottine Souriante has had many lineup changes over the past five decades; 2002 saw the departure of the last original member of the group, Yves Lambert. But through those lineup changes, new ideas and instruments have made their way into the (now eleven-member) ensemble, infusing some exciting musical influences into the sound of La Bottine Souriante. Beginning in the early 1990s, brass musicians started to appear in the group, adding a jazzier feel. From the 2011 album, Appellation d'origine contrôlée, here is the song "Au rang d'aimer".:
After their 12th release in 2011, Appellation d'origine contrôlée, La Bottine Souriante did not release any new recordings until their new recording just released this month, Domino. Four of their thirteen albums have reached gold status, and three have gone platinum. Over the years, La Bottine Souriante has been well-loved for their high-energy live performances, and in 2000 were voted Best Live Act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.