December 9, 2014
French Canadian music is generally considered to originate in Quebec and drifting south to become Cajun music from La Louisiane. Some may give a passing nod to L’Acadie and maybe the Red River Valley in Manitoba. But we forget about the Cree fiddlers in the north, along Hudson Bay – a result of the Scot traders who came to work in the fur trade bringing their fiddles with them (and subsequently passing their Orkney music on to their trading partners).
We also tend to forget the francophones who came into New England in large numbers during the industrial revolution looking for work and settling where they found it.
My ancestors are in that category of settlers leaving Ile St Jean (now Prince Edward Island) and choosing to settle in Massachusetts. French Canadian communities sprang up all over Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts. And they passed their music on to generations.
This is a one hour special from the Library of Congress: Daniel Boucher & Friends: Traditional French-Canadian Fiddle Music from Connecticut – 2013