Entertainment

Street Sounds: Folk troubadour remains relevant

Valdy joins his Contenders’ stage-mate, Gary Fjellgaard, in concert tonight in Vernon at Okanagan College’s Kalamalka campus lecture theatre. - submitted
Valdy joins his Contenders’ stage-mate, Gary Fjellgaard, in concert tonight in Vernon at Okanagan College’s Kalamalka campus lecture theatre.
— image credit: submitted

B.C. folk music legend Valdy’s 18th album, Read Between the Lines, finds the veteran troubadour in fine topical form, moving between political reporting, historical events and good time humorous songs with excursions into his own past.

It has been a long, strange trip and Valdy’s voice sounds unchanged –– 1970 could have been last year.

His rich, friendly voice is an upbeat presence; part social/political commentator and part court jester. As such, he’s had a storied career, beloved of folkies, but made famous by a song now steeped in classic rock annals (Play Me a Rock and Roll Song).

Valdy’s Pete Seeger-style narratives of activism, death and community (The Day They Shot Ginger Down) don’t get gloomy.  He could easily have a second career as a humourist!  His patented story-songs and sassy word play add levity to weighty topics like religion and environmentalism (Savings Place, It’s the Water).

Musically, Valdy branches out past acoustic settings, bringing in horn sections and keyboards on many tracks. Several songs are electric in nature, moving into a little heard mid-’70s country rock vibe complete with gang vocals (Mean Mama, VLT).

Valdy keeps the hootenanny spirit close to his heart and mixes his stories with an engaging folk-rap delivery (Mind’s Eye). Further elements of country rock a la Kenny Rogers are heard in As The Waters Fall.

Who said being a folksinger means being mired in seriousness?

Dean Gordon-Smith is The Morning Star's longtime music reviewer. His column, Street Sounds, appears every Friday.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

In Theatres: Exodus: Gods and Kings; The Imitation Game; Top Five
 
Soul man Rann Berry returns with band to Vernon Jazz Club
 
Reel Reviews: Give the gift of great films, two
Storage containers will welcome cultural crowd
 
Pascal title fight with Kovalev set
 
Two killed in snowmobile accident
Port Edward to receive $150 million from agreement
 
Marilyn Manson coming to SOEC
 
Rainmakers ranked No. 3

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.