Robert Crane | Bowing Down Home
Robert Crane is the maternal grandfather of Ward MacDonald, one of the Island's major new-generation fiddlers. Crane comes from a prominent fiddling family in northern Kings County; his father was noted fiddler Ward Crane, and a number of brothers and uncles also played. One day an older brother took Robert aside and got him to try a simple tune; that’s how he got started.
Crane is a good dance player, and has a large repertoire absorbed from his family and community. Because he left PEI in the late 1980s and hasn't been in a position to absorb new tune-trends, he seems to have held on to some older tunes far more than many of his contemporaries. He was largely untouched by the interest in Cape Breton tunes that gripped many other fiddlers from his part of the Island.
Crane is also a vivid story teller. In one story, a prominent fiddler is plied with home made beer between sets, and promises in return to "drive her" (play as hard as he can). In another story, Crane's father Ward is bribed with a drink of rum to play at a wedding in nearby Cardigan. Father and son then play all night; as payment they are left in the driveway with the remainder of the bottle.