La Bottine souriante
La Bottine souriante. Vocal and instrumental folk ensemble, formed in 1976 in Joliette, Que, by the accordion and harmonica player Yves Lambert and others. Some 15 musicians had passed through la Bottine souriante (literally, the Smiling Boot) by 1991, among them the guitarists Gilles Cartin and André Marchand, the fiddlers Pierre Laporte and Martin Racine, the harmonica player Mario Forest, and the mandolinist Michel Bordeleau. Personnel in 1991 comprised Lambert, Racine, Bordeleau, the pianist Denis Fréchette and the bassist Réjean Archambault, the last two adding elements of jazz to the group's traditional style.
Drawing on a repertoire of Franch Canadian folk material refecting Irish and Breton derivations, as well as songs by Oscar Thiffault and tunes by Marcel Messervier and others, la Bottine souriante has recorded for Tamanoir (Y'a ben du changement, TAM-27013), for Gamma (Les épousailles, GS-256), 1982-7 for its own Disques Milles Pattes (Chic 'n' Swell, MP-2033; La traversée de l'Atlantique, MP-2034; Tout comme au jour de l'an, MP-2035), and for Bouleau Noir (Je voudrais changer d'chapeau, BN-2036).
Je voudrais changer d'chapeau received a Juno Award in 1990 as best roots/traditional album. The group has also supplied music for film and contemporary dance and in 1987 performed in concert at McGill University with the Tudor Singers of Montreal. Noted for its infectious presentations of traditional jigs and reels, la Bottine souriante has been especially popular in the USA, where it has toured on several occasions and appeared at many folk festivals. It also has made several tours in Europe and has performed at folk festivals across Canada.