JP Cormier at the Carleton

JP Cormier at the Carleton

JP Cormier at the Carleton

For the very few of you reading this that don’t already know, JP Cormier is a great big man from Cape Breton who can play anything with strings.  In fact when they launched the Marine Terminal in Sydney in 2005, the challenge was put out for JP to play the giant fiddle.  I’m not sure if JP ever rose to the challenge, but if he can’t do it nobody can.


He and his wife Hilda Chiasson-Cormier are about as unpretentious as they come and their shows are always a breath of fresh air.  They are on tour for the rest of June in support of Feed Nova Scotia, so for only $5 and a can of food or non-perishable food item, you can be entertained by Nova Scotia’s finest. 


My friends and I caught the last show at the Carleton on Tuesday evening.  I’m from Cape Breton so have had opportunity to see JP many times and know he’s a brilliant multi instrumentalist, and very fine singer/songwriter, and many a working man’s hero. 


I always like to bring people out to see new music and had a friend with me who’s never heard JP before.  She said “I’ve never heard a Banjo sound like that”, as JP flawlessly picked out classical melodies.  Yup…many people can play strings…not too many people play like JP.  He can switch from fiddle to mandolin to guitar to banjo and from Bluegrass to Bach and not skip a beat. 


Every show is different when you go to see people live of course.  This time around I enjoyed JP’s story of being a young session player in Nashville many years ago and not being able to make it on the measly union scale pay, and having to come back home.  It’s a tough business, so thank heavens the love of the music is strong and JP is still entertaining us.

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