Meet The Band — The French Connection

"Growlin' Old Man and Grumblin' Old Woman"

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Deck Nieforth’s grandmother carried a harmonica around in her apron pocket; his father was a carpenter and old-time fiddler from Nova Scotia. Apprenticed in the family construction business since childhood, the now Master Finish Carpenter always loved this music, but he was in his fifties before a local fiddler put him and his harmonica in her band. Soon he had two contra dance bands of his own, playing the hundreds of traditional tunes he’d learned by ear. Deck handcrafts fiddles and wooden musical spoons which you’ll hear during French Connection performances because he plays the spoons and Dan plays a 5-string fiddle that Deck made for him. Deck plays drums, feet, harmonica, and washtub bass in some other bands.


Dan Lanier, who has enjoyed playing the violin and other instruments for over four decades in various settings, especially loves the thrill and exuberance of square and contra dances. Having played in the ‘60s and ‘70s with some of the great New England musicians and callers of the contra dance revival, Dan brings a deep appreciation for the old styles and the essence of the genre. He has composed hundreds of jigs, reels, waltzes, and other pieces. In 1982, Dan was a founder of the Rehoboth, MA contra series at Goff Hall, where he played monthly during its formative years with the band “Geese in the Bog.” Together, Deck and Dan have fun creating spontaneous harmonies with reeds and strings, adding a fresh and exciting dimension to the music.


Mike Fischman arrived in Rhode Island in April of 1985 to escape the cultural wasteland of eastern Long Island, while retiring from his career with the competition volleyball team "Renegade Potatoes." Since then he has played guitar, banjo, bass mandolin, harmonica, bodhrán, tin whistles, and other sundry folk instruments in bluegrass bands, ceili bands, old timey bands, singer-songwriter groups, sea shanty ensembles, Dixieland quintets, blues bands, swing orchestras, kid shows, school shows, show and tell, etc. He has been a guest in many other folk groups’ recordings, including one country music production that won a 1995 Boston Music Award, and Mike has produced several of his own CD’s. Mike Fischman was the first folk musician inducted into the new RI Folk Music Hall of Fame in April, 2017.

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