Alain Lamontagne. Harmonica player, composer, singer, storyteller, actor, b Verdun (Montreal) 14 Jul 1952. He began playing harmonica in his teens. Initially influenced by US blues musicians, he soon added Québécois folk tunes to his repertoire and took up the traditional style of 'clogging' to accompany his performances. His repertoire in the 1980s included many original pieces, some (La Valse tempête, Le Lys cassé) showing a light romantic or European influence, and others (La Cubaine, L'Arme blanche, Bélize) in a Latin style. His concerts combine stories and songs with exuberant, richly textured, accordion-like instrumentals.
Lamontagne began his career in 1976 and made his first tours of Africa and of France the following year; he returned to Africa in 1984 and has travelled on many occasions to Europe (France, Belgium, Switzerland) for festivals and concerts. He also gave 72 concerts at Expo 85 (Japan) and 63 at Expo 86, and has appeared on tour and at folk festivals (Mariposa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, etc) across Canada. In Montreal Lamontagne enjoyed extended runs at La Licorne in 1982 and 1988, and has appeared as a musician and/or actor in productions of Antonine Maillet's La Joyeuse criée (1983), Garrochés en paradis (1986-7), and Margot la folle (1987), contributing incidental music to the first two. He also has written scores for film (NFB, etc), the CBC, and dance productions.
Lamontagne released the LPs Musique à bouche (Tamanoir TAM-27006) in 1977, Souffle (Kébec Disc KD-550) in 1982, and Alièno (Justin Time JTR-8409) in 1987. Souffle received a Félix Award for best instrumental album in 1983 and was re-released in part with pieces from Alièno on CD (Justin Time JTR-8414-2) in 1989. Lamontagne also has accompanied, on record or in concert, la Bottine souriante, Gerry Boulet, Claude Gauthier, Paul Piché, Raoul Roy, and Gilles Vigneault, and appears with Le Rêve du diable and others on Les Réjouissances (1977, Tamanoir 2-TAMX-31298).