Bowing Down Home

For over two hundred years, Prince Edward Island has been home to a strong fiddling tradition: a blend of Scottish, Irish and Acadian French influences. Nearly every “district” had its stock of fiddlers who played their lively, highly expressive music year round at house dances, weddings, “frolics” (work parties), church picnics, community socials, and schoolhouse dances. This traditional PEI fiddling style has not previously been well represented on either commercial or field recordings, but you can access it right here on Bowing Down Home. This website encompasses the full range of Island fiddling as it survived into the last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first. About 120 Island fiddlers are featured – anglophone and francophone alike – representing all the Island's diverse regional playing styles, along with literally hundreds of different tunes. And through a substantial collection of oral history selections, visitors to the site have the opportunity both to get a sense of the artists’ personalities and to learn how they felt about their music and social milieu.

Read the full site introduction...

New Content - August 2015

Bowing Down Home is proud to announce the following new resources:

New People Added

Cynthia Jay Crane

Cynthia Jay Crane (c. 1955-).  We now have a bio, photo and musical selection available for Ms. Crane, an active accompanist from Mt. Stewart

Ed Matthews

Ed Matthews (1919-?).  We now have a bio, photo and musical selection available for Mr. Matthews. The musical selection was recorded in the early 1970s and made available courtesy Melissa Marie Morse.

Delphine Arsenault

Delphine Arsenault (1912-83). Folklorist Georges Arsenault donated recordings he made in the 1970s of fiddler Delphine Arsenault, who grew up in Abram-Village in Prince County. Available on the site are roughly 25 musical selections, several photographs plus a bio of the artist written by Mr. Arsenault.

 

Albin Arsenault (1905-80). Folklorist Georges Arsenault donated recordings he made in the 1970s of fiddler Albin Arsenault of Cape Egmont in Prince County. Available on the site are several musical selections and photographs; a bio of the artist by Georges Arsenault is also now up.

 

Jaddus Gallant (1899-1901). Folklorist Georges Arsenault donated recordings he made in the 1970s of fiddler Jaddus Gallant of Cape Egmont in Prince County. Available on the site are several musical selections and photographs; a bio of the artist by Arsenault is also now up.

 

Lemmy Chaisson (1945-2013). A bio, photo and musical selection are now available for Lemmy Chaisson of Rollo Bay in Kings County. Chaisson was a noted guitarist, vocalist and  frequent accompanist of fiddlers from northeast Kings County.

Vincent Doucette (1942- ). A bio, photo and musical selection are now available for Vincent Doucette from Tignish in western Prince County. Doucette is a guitarist, vocalist and  frequent accompanist of fiddler Dennis Pitre.

Earl Hughes (1918-80). The Hughes family donated recordings made in the 1970s of fiddler Earl Hughes, who grew up in Dromore, near Mt. Stewart in northeastern Queens County. Available on the site are several musical selections, several photographs plus a bio of the artist written by Hughes' daughter Joan.

Ivan Day (1933-). An example of Day's fiddling recorded in 1968 by Ivan Bowness was recently contributed by Melissa Marie Morse to Bowing Down Home and is now featured on his page.

 

 

New Recordings Added

Quite a number of new tunes have recently been added to the site. Here are some new tunes for which titles were available:

Fay's Hornpipe (played on piano by Cynthia Jay Crane)

Beautiful Swannee River Hornpipe (played by Delphine Arsenault)

Gracie M Parker, The  (vocal and guitar; performed by Vincent Doucette)

Ma Petite Bedaine . . ., aka Fire on the Mountain  (played by Delphine Arsenault)

Marie Blanche (played by Delphine Arsenault)

Me Love Is but a Lassie Yet (played by Delphine Arsenault)

Mr. Murray Strathspey (played by Earl Hughes)

Pierre Gallant's Tune (played by Albin Arsenault)

Road to Skye, The (played by Earl Hughes)

Speed the Plow (two versions: one played by Albin Arsenault, one by Earl Hughes)

Teviot Bridge (played by Earl Hughes)