View Full Version : La Bottine Souriante

Dagger Gordon
May-02-2005, 10:16am
Been listening a lot to this 1990 album lately. Forgotten how good it was, and how much mandolin Michel Bordeleau played on it.
I like their brass stuff, but this was made before that. Pianist Denis Frechette plays some trumpet - I guess that was the start of the brass.
Latterly, Michel hardly played mandolin at all - all fiddle, guitar, drums, feet and singing, and when I saw them in Scotland in summer 2003, only the bass player Regent Archibauld was still there from the 1990 line-up, which was a really great group.
What are some of these guys doing now? I gather Andre has a studio (recorded Tony McManus' 'Pourquoi Quebec', I think); what about Michel Bordeleau? I thought the way he worked the mandolin into that line-up was excellent.

Paul Hostetter
May-04-2005, 3:21am
André Marchand and Michel Bordeleau are singing in an amazing a capella group called Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer. Also in the group: Michel Faubert, Normand Miron and Jean-Claude Mirandette. The album is entitled Wô, which about sums it up. Can you imagine a group full of such stunning instrumentalists who only sing together?

A somewhat related recent CD, Hommage á Marius Barbeau, includes André Marchand and Daniel Roy, who was the flute/whistle guy in the original La Bottine, plus Lisa Ornstein and Danielle Martineau.

André Marchand just toured Australia with Grey Larsen, and they have a new CD as well.

And Tony McManus is about to be here where I live. Yay!

Dagger Gordon
May-04-2005, 4:07am
Thanks, Paul.
I'm very interested to hear all that.

All the best,


Paul Kotapish
May-04-2005, 12:12pm
Hey Dagger,

Michel is a monster player indeed. The fact that he can play so beautifully while maintaining one of the strongest imaginable grooves by clogging with his feet--seated, of course, in the manner of Quebec fiddlers--is even more amazing.

And here's another vote of enthusiasm for Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer. You can find their two discs at Trente Sous Zéro - Thirty Below:


Michel has also done some work in recent years with Martine Chiasson in an ensemble of somewhat flexible personnel called Athanor. They have at least one CD out, and I understand that another one is on the way.


La Bottine is still afloat, but with none of the original members. The "new" guys are all great players and they are still a tremendously fun act, but according to Sandy Silva, they aren't performing all that often these days.