Musical Influences in Labrador
Content provided by: Leander Baikie
Labrador has a long tradition of musical influences. Many world styles have been intertwined with the indigenous drum and stories of the Labrador Inuit, Innu, Metis and Settlers. From the Spanish Basque Whalers of the 1500s on the south coast to the Moravian's of the 1700s on the north coast to the French and English fur traders of 500 years ago. As well, the Americans in the 1940s, brought their own blend of traditional contemporary sounds. The guitar, the fiddle, accordion and drum add to the musical sounds of Labrador.
The Flummies at Muskrat. Photo creadit: Leander Baikie
Many of the traditional Labrador songs we know today came from life on the trap line or experiences on the sea. As in many cultures, songs and musical stories were passed down from generation to generation. Labrador songwriters of the past didn't think of themselves as writers of song, but to those.. singing a story was just another way of expressing a past experience. Labrador songwriters of today are keeping with this same tradition as they know that the beauty of the land and its people, always offer an interesting musical story.

In all regions of Labrador there are many great community musicians who have never, and probably will never, have their talents recorded. To many, a recording project is an expensive proposition. However, over the years some have taken the plunge. People like Boyd Chubbs, Harry Martin, The Flummies, Shirley Montague, Jacinda Beals, Dick Gardner, Labrador Black Spruce, Andrew Penashue with Mesikamau, just to name a few, have created a new inspiration for others to write and record.
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