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 ...

Choral leader continues to shape sound
 
Comics are grateful for the powder as they hit the trail
 
Jazz divas sound off to raise funds for club
Kalamlka Classic paddleboard festival a success
 
Maverick Riding Club Horse Show
 
Salmo-area dam failure would have ‘very high’ consequences
Sheer Madness and a broad perspective at The Mad Hatter Okanagan art show
 
Kelowna artist delves into discrimination
 
Wylie: Okanagan Print Triennial opens Friday in Kelowna

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

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

Sep 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.