Genre: Creole, Old Tyme
Fingers and bow flying, Dennis Stroughmatt takes listeners on a musical odyssey not so different from his own musical journeys into Upper Louisiana Creole culture. Taught to play fiddle by local Creole fiddlers living along the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Dennis is now the authority on this regional pocket of American antiquity. A vibrant blend of Celtic, Canadian and Old Time sounds, this unique music bridges gaps between contemporary Canadian and Louisiana Cajun styles. Preserved by families in the Ozark foothills, the music remains largely intact and true to the traditions that have been passed down over three centuries.
Born and raised in southeastern Illinois, Dennis Stroughmatt is an authority on French Creole music, traditions, and culture of “Upper Louisiana,” aka Illinois and Missouri and Louisiana Purchase area. First introduced to local French music as a teenager in Indiana, Dennis later moved to southeast Missouri and spent over three years studying and learning to speak Illinois Creole French, play the fiddle, and sing many of the traditional songs that have permeated the region for over three hundred years. He would also go on to live, work, and play music in the “Cajun country” of Louisiana and study in Quebec, thus completing the circle of French culture in North America.
Touring as a duo with guitarist Doug Hawf as Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole are passionate ambassadors of this musical tradition, expanding interest and excitement in a region that has been, in many ways, ignored by the history books. What many have considered to be long lost is alive and kicking. It’ll make your soul jump, your head spin, and your heart glad to know that it is still here. As they say in the hills, “On est toujours icitte: We are still here!”