Joe Cormier was born March 19th, 1927 in Chéticamp, an Acadian settlement in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. He grew up speaking French and was from a musical family, but the musical tradition around him was mostly Scottish. His father played Irish and Scottish tunes and Joe started performing as early as 9 years old and by age 14 was playing for dances at the parish halls. He was a protégé of Angus Chisolm and Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald, adopting the Cape Breton repertoire. Another import an influence was Placide Odo. who played more the French style of fiddling. According to Joe Cormier "French fiddling is more free-flowing and Scottish fiddling is more pronounced and better for step dancing". He later moved to Waltham, Massachusetts in the 1960's to work as an electrical engineer and played often for the dances at the French American Victory club. There is a brief appearance of Joe Cormier playing at the club on the 1989 John Bishop documentary called New England Dances. Joe recorded two albums for Rounder records in the 1970's. These early recordings have been remastered and re-released in a compilation CD from Rounder called The Dances Down Home.