Who has influenced your playing, and how?
When I first started playing music on the street in Toronto, I was playing Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, and The Grateful Dead - on guitar. I hadn't started playing fiddle yet. I moved out to Western Canada, and got quickly influenced by bluegrass (and newgrass) music, and jazz. George Shuffler (a guitar player in the Stanley Brothers), Clarence White, Django Reinhardt and Tony Rice were my main guitar influences.
I got more and more into Appalachian old time music - Tommy Jarrell, The New Lost City Ramblers - and old time country - The Carter Family, Hank Williams, The Louvin Brothers, The Delmore Brothers, The Girls of the Golden West. Between the music of the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, the wild fiddling of Scotty Stoneman and guitar playing from Clarence White from the Kentucky Colonals, The Newgrass Revival, John Hartford, and Le Hot Club De France, I had to start playing the fiddle.
The fiddle took over me. My first fiddle lesson was with the great Cajun king, Dewey Balfa, at a hotel room party at the Winnipeg Folk festival. I was never the same. Cajun music was added to the gumbo.
And I can't forget all the old fiddlers from all over North America, wherever I traveled. Each person would show me something different, in their own regional style. Because I moved so much, they all got jumbled together. And because I'm a rock & roll girl at heart, I always hear the back beat. So I like to have two drummers on my gigs whenever possible! One playing traps and one playing all kinds of percussion.
If I'm doing a solo gig, singing and playing the fiddle, I still like to have a person playing some kind of big drum or two with me. That rhythm inspires me to play better solos.
Another thing about the fiddle is the sustain the bow gives you. And I love slide guitar. I love Sonny Landreth's playing, and the old blues guys like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Son House, and Robert Johnson. So I listen to their playing, and integrate that into my fiddle playing too.