Northeast Kings | Bowing Down Home

As some say, you can hear the “skirl of the Highland bagpipes” deep within the sound of most Northeast Kings fiddlers. They tend to prefer moderate tempos, often use Scotch snaps as a syncopation strategy, and prefer using drones (often in the form of open neighbor strings), grace-notes, and cuts for ornamentation.They generally play a repertoire that contains a high proportion of tunes considered by Islanders to have strong connections with the Scottish or Cape Breton traditions. They tend to use a one-footed tapping style, generally hold the fiddle face perpendicular to collar bone, and tend to develop bowing styles with a relatively controlled range of motion.

Northeast Kings fiddling has increasingly come under the influence of Cape Breton fiddling over the last few generations. In 1991-2, there was still an "old guard" whose playing sound most represented the style of the region before the Cape Breton influence took hold. Although this ancestral Northeast Kings sound has been diluted with each successive generation, it has never entirely disappeared. New Wave players from the Northeast Kings region are probably more properly categorized as "third-generation Cape Breton influence."

See below for an annotated list of the Northeast Kings fiddlers on this site.


Old Guard: represents the pre-Cape Breton sound of the region

First generation Cape Breton influence

Second generation Cape Breton influence

"Slow" Fiddler: specializes in playing set tunes and waltzes

Hybrid Style - heavily influenced by external style

New Wave: in effect, third generation Cape Breton influence

Northeast Kings Fiddlers by Style

Old Guard: Johnny Joe (& Phonsey) Chaisson, Hilda MacPhee MacDonald, Mary MacIntyre, George MacPhee, Teresa MacPhee Wilson

First Generation Cape Breton Influence: “Old Peter” Chaisson, Omar Cheverie, Joe Conway, Connie Gallant, Gus Longaphie, Charlie Sheehan

Second Generation Cape Breton Influence: Kenny Chaisson, Kevin Chaisson, “Young Peter” Chaisson, Fr. Charles Cheverie, Buddy Longaphie, Allan MacDonald, Francis MacDonald, Dan McPhee, Hughie McPhee

"Slow" Fiddlers: Wilfred Bernard, Stewart MacIntyre

Hybrid Style: Francis MacCormack (substantial mainstream Canadian influence)

New Wave: JJ Chaisson, Timothy Chaisson, Paul MacDonald, Ward MacDonald, Sheila MacKenzie