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A Prairie Home Companion
SATURDAY, MAY 17, 1997

Guest Biographies


Note: Tonight's show is a rebroadcast of the February 24 performance in Vancouver Canada.
These biographies are from the same date.


La Bottine Souriante
Pierre Imbert
Natalie MacMaster
and - Our CBC Radio Guests:
Double Exposure: Linda Cullen and Bob Robertson
Vicki Gabereau
Bill Richardson


La Bottine Souriante, a nine-person group from Quebec, plays traditional music of the area. Four of the musicians play in the horn section (Jean Fréchette, saxophone; Jocelyn Lapointe, trumpet; André Verreault, trombone; and Robert Ellis, bass trombone) and the other five sing and play a variety of instruments: Yves Lambert (diatonic accordion, harmonica); Régent Archambault (double bass); Michel Bordeleau (mandolin, violin), Denis Fréchette (piano, flugelhorn), and Martin Racine (violin, guitar). The group formed in 1976 as a quintet and added the horn section in 1990. They have recorded eight albums, the latest of which is La Mistrine, on the Mille Pattes label. Their 1994 recording, Jusqu'aux p'tites heures, received a Felix award and a Juno award.

Pierre Imbert started playing the hurdy-gurdy in 1974 and traveled throughout French regions, studying hurdy-gurdy and traditional folk-music styles. Imbert has played with folk bands such as Le Grand Rouge and Lo Jai, with whom he recorded several albums and has performed in festivals and tours across the globe. Imbert now makes solo appearances and is a member of the band Ad Vielle Que Pourra. He recently settled in Vancouver.

Natalie MacMaster is a 23-year-old fiddler who plays fiddle in the Cape Breton (Nova Scotia) tradition. Brought up in a musicial family that stressed their Scottish heritage, the young MacMaster was encouraged by her father and musically influenced by her uncle, Buddy MacMaster, a master of the Cape Breton fiddle. She began playing fiddle at age 9 and has garnered all sorts of awards, including the East Coast Music Association's Roots/Traditional Artist Award (1992), Instru-mental Artist of the Year Award (1994), and a nomination for Entertainer of the Year (1995). Her latest album is Fit as a Fiddle (CBC Maritimes), and there is another one due out this spring. On March 23 and 24, MacMaster will appear with the Vancouver Symphony in its "World Music, World Myth" program.

Linda Cullen AND Bob Robertson began Double Exposure in 1986. As children, they both mimicked voices of other people and they now can do a range of voices-among others, Bob does Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, John Major, Queen Elizabeth, Princes Charles, the pope, George Bush, and Brian Mulroney; Linda does Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, The Queen Mother, Julia Child, and Sister Wendy, a PBS art show character. The two of them write and perform everything heard on Double Exposure-earlier this year, their hard work was rewarded when the program was named Best Weekly Network Program. The duo entertains sold-out audiences in live performances across the country. Their humor can also be found on their Double Exposure CD (available through RadioWorks) and their Double Exposure book (published by Whitecap).

Vicki Gabereau has driven a cab, owned a dress shop, promoted concerts, and raised two children. In the '70s, she was masquerading as Rosie, a professional clown, when she took on Toronto's mayor and got 3,200 votes (second place). Her brash style in a radio interview done during the campaign led to a guest-host job on a call-in talk show. After fronting a weeknight entertainment show that did star interviews, she began Gabereau in 1988. The program airs on CBC Radio weekday afternoons and is filled with lively interviews, entertaining features, and music from folk to jazz to rock'n'roll. Gabereau has also dabbled in the theater. In 1985, she made her stage debut in role she describes as "a classy wench" -- others have assured her that she's in no danger of being typecast.

Bill Richardson started out his working life as a children's librarian and storyteller and now hosts a two-hour daily classical-music request program on CBC Radio called As You Like It. He also does a weekly TV spot, and writes a column for The Georgia Straight, Vancouver's entertainment weekly. Six of his books have been published: one collection of essays, one text for a photographic book on drag queens, two doggerel-poem collections, and two books of fiction about Hector and Virgil, fraternal twins in their 50s who run a B & B in the same house in which they have lived their entire lives.


5-17-97 Rundown - Music Information
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