The Frost King has come and with a flick of his thumb turned the windows to Renaissance art
Valdy has been singing around the world – Canada, USA and New Zealand – for four decades. I know this because he said so last night at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Fans gathered with albums clutched in their arms – not DVDs, Not iPods – vinyl with fading covers. (Valdy’s songs are available on iTunes, he said so.)
He sings in a lower key the songs that caught our fancy years ago – Peter and Lou; Renaissance, and Oh Yeah – the one about Rock and Roll Songs. In between he sang the songs he wrote for events that have occurred in his life in the subsequent decades. Protest songs, praise songs, songs about justice – thinking people songs. Valdy is a folksinger, he told us so, last night in case we had forgotten.
The last time I saw Valdy in concert he sat on a stool in front of his band in the corner of a tiny bar. So the BIG surprise last night was to discover Valdy dances when he sings. Little jigs and skips and the odd scissor jump a la rock and roll divos. His picking is fast and furious – one man and a guitar, unabashedly dropping Canadian references as fast as Kim Kardashian drops husbands. He showed us his Order of Canada, instructing us to make a difference and we could get one too.
He sings in a lower register, but then we’ve all changed. Last night I felt as if I had come home to a gathering of my people…the first time in forever that the audience and I were of the same vintage. We clapped at the intros to the songs we loved. we sung along to everything, because Valdy told us we could and showed us how!
Whether you know Valdy or not, you should visit his website. He built it himself – yes he told us so! Like Valdy the flash is missing, but it does the job with warmth and a sense of humour. Valdy turned the night into Renaissance art.