Valdy is the first musician who has contributed to my blog who I can call a true musical icon.
He helped define the roll of the singer songwriter in Canadian music when he emerged in the 70s. Many of the big names in music north of the 49th will tell you about Valdy's influence on their music.
He has been around the Canadian music scene for four decades. He has a stack of music awards: gold records, Junos and such. It will also come as no surprise to people who know Valdy and his music that he was named to the Order of Canada in 2011.You can find out more about him on his website. Here is his entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia.
While the troubadour flies under the radar of mainstream pop music, he continues to tour and perform across North America solo or as a duo with his friend and fellow Salt Spring Islander Gary Fjellgaard.
I've seen Valdy perform a dozen, maybe two dozen times over the years. Every time I see his show I am reminded of his many talents as a singer, a songwriter, guitar player and as an overall entertainer. I have never left a Valdy show without a smile on my face.
He calls the song Play Me A Rock 'n' Roll Song (video below) "my hit" but he had a number of hit songs on Canadian radio, particularly in 70s and 80s including: A Good Song, Simple Life, David Bradstreet's Renaissance (Let's Dance That Old Dance) and Bob Ruzicka's Yes I Can (Anyway You Want Me).
I bumped into Valdy during his recent stop in Calgary to play a couple of local folk clubs including my own home club The Nick, and I asked him to PRESS PLAY>. He obliged. I think you'll find his musical choices as enlightening and entertaining as a Valdy performance.
What have you been listening to lately? What is on your iPod, CD player, turntable these days?
Christine Bougie (lap steel) her album called Aloha Supreme
What is the record (okay maybe two or three or four or more ) that influenced your music the most?
Henry Mancini Music from Peter Gun
Leon Russell Delta Lady
Carol King Tapestry
What was the first record you bought?
Jimmy Yancey Barrelhouse, Boogie Woogie and Blues
What’s your favourite cover tune? (Song and covered by whom?)
|Cohen and Warnes|
What is the record that you count as a guilty pleasure?
None, there is no guilt in aural pleasure.
Currently, what’s your favourite record to listen to on the road?
Victor Mecyssne Skinnybones
Which of your records is your favourite?
Coastline of Our Dreams: the Songs of Ian Tamblyn
(Musical Immigrant's note: Valdy's track on this tribute record is Long Lost French Cafe. I find it interesting that Valdy chose a tribute album to a fellow singer-songwriter, Ian Tamblyn, as his favourite recording even though he has about 14 albums and 22 singles to his credit. I emailed and asked him to elaborate. If I hear back I'll let you know.)
What’s the record you bought that you wish you didn't?
I look for the good in what I invest in; the CDs laid on me are often ghastly, but that doesn't answer your question, does it. Quiet Nights by Diana Krall was a bit too sleepy for me, lovely lush strings, but a turn down a different road stylistically. I like her bop.
Read Between the Lines
Find it at his website@folk_valdy