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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Calgary Folk Club 09 27 13: Valdy

Calgary Folk Club
09 27 13
Valdy, Graham Wardrop, and Michael Jerome Brown

The Saturday Afternoon 
"Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review:

The Calgary Folk Club

with Valdy, Graham Wardrop, 
and Michael Jerome Brown

If you ever want to see a performer that lives to do what he does, you shouldn't have to look much further than iconic Canadian singer/songwriter Valdy - a self-confessed folkie. How very appropriate for his appearance last night!

If he hadn't mentioned to the crowd that he was 68, you'd have been hard-pressed to figure that out unless you've followed him as long as myself and the rest of his fans have - boundless energy, relentless good-natured humour - and those songs - the songs that have stood the test of time for decades now...

The Salt Spring Island, B.C. resident wrapped things up last night to a boisterous standing ovation and encore performance, but not before strumming chords from enduring classics and newer songs over two lengthy sets. 

Peppered throughout with chuckles as he shared stories of both the songs themselves and how so many diverse things can inspire him, it's not hard to see why this was (approximately) his 9th appearance at the club. I couldn't begin to list the highlights, but just a few for me were "The Starlight Lounge", plus a heartfelt tribute to Alberta/cover version of "Four Strong Winds". 

Well, and of course "Rock & Roll Song". Hey, it's a Canadian classic...

Valdy is currently touring with a guitar virtuoso from Christchurch, New Zealand - Graham Wardrop. The two together were seamless, and when left to shine on his own, Wardrop's 30+ years in the business literally illuminated the dimmed quarters, wowing the audience at one point with a Flamenco turn that morphed into a flawless, personalized rendition of "Classical Gas". His own "Lifequake" was another opportunity to strut his unique talents. This gentleman was a very happy discovery for me...

Getting the night started for Valdy and Mr. Wardrop was another pleasant surprise - Quebec bluesman Michael Jerome Brown. Between electric acoustic slide guitar, a gourd banjo (I kid you not), fiddle and some 12-string acoustic (the man does not travel light), Brown showcased a great blend of skills on originals and cover songs. 

"Sing Low", "I'm At It Again", and a solo Cajun waltz on the aforementioned fiddle, even a classic soul hit in his own inimitable style made it profoundly obvious why he has been nominated for and won a handful of awards. Having seen The Neville Brothers perform Randy Newman's elegant "Louisiana 1927", I'd stack his version alongside that without hesitation as a personal favourite.

All in all, another remarkable night in The Calgary Folk Club.

Check out:


See you at the club!



Mrs That Dan Guy said...

Shucks, too bad I couldn't make this one, sounds like it was yet another fabulous evening!

ThatDanGuy said...

I have yet to see a bad one!