Have you ever had a question for a folk musician but were afraid to ask? Of course not. Folk musicians are the most approachable and friendly people on the planet.
We posed a few questions to Valdy, our March performer, and he was more than happy to supply answers.
- What, if any, is the significance of the red Converse? Are they a good luck performing talisman of sorts? It is said that wearing red shoes opens the Chakras in one’s energy path. Be that as it may, I wear them for shtick, as an identifier, and for the stability of a good skater shoe.
- What is the best thing about living on an island? What is the worse thing? The best thing about living on an island is the isolation, being out of the fast lane by choice. The worst thing about living on an island is also isolation, with limited accessibility.
- You’re on the road a good portion of the time and you’ve recently celebrated over 30 years with Kathleen. What’s the secret (or the best advice you can give) to maintaining a healthy relationship when you’re gone a lot? Kathleen is a unique woman, fiercely intelligent, easy going, artistic and empathetic. These characteristics blend well with a frequently-absent partner. The secret to maintaining any relationship is a facility to listen, discuss and co-create a life for both partners.
- There a lot of talk these days about sites like Spotify, live streaming and those that say music should be “free.” As a songwriter, what can one do to argue against this trend? Is technology still a friend to musicians? One cannot argue against a trend, but one need not follow it. However, I encourage sales of music on the internet via portals that provide some remuneration for the creators. All contemporary musicians must be techs, as we encounter sound gear and lighting rigs that often require some tweaking to let us look and sound as good as we can.
- What is down time for Valdy? What does that look like? I like to putter, which is the exercise of doing sequential and overlapping mini-tasks, usually aimed at organization, project furtherance and tidying up. It is a solitary activity, and I tend not to putter when I’m in another’s company.
- Who are some of your favourite emerging artists? Walk On the Earth are impressive, the Foggy Hog Town Boys are marvelous, Arcade Fire rock, and every summer I hear a stunning array of singer-songwriters and instrumentalists at festivals, too many people to list.
- What has been one of your most memorable (or favourite) gigs? My most memorable gigs are the ones where audience and performer connect, creating musical magic, thickening the air with an emulsion that is a sum greater than its parts. Fortunately this happens a bit for me, and it can be a living room or an expansive concert hall. The main ingredient is openness.
- You have been granted one do-over in life. What would that be? I would have children with Kathleen.
- You have played in several amazing places. What’s one of the best places you’ve visited? New Zealand is a beautiful country, respectful and refined. The Yukon Territories are rugged and demanding. Any place in good weather has the odds in its favour. I enjoy a rural life. If I were to choose one place, it would be Saltspring Island off Canada’s West Coast.
- What scares you? Poor health scares me, making me feel vulnerable and incapacitated. Stephen Harper scares me, as he shames all Canadians and threatens sea-level communities by denying climate change; he is a roadblock to improvement. Big oil scares me, and big pharma, and big agro-industries, as they all are complicit in reducing our self-reliance.
The Barrie Folk Society was formed in response to the wants and needs of the local folk music community in and around the Barrie area.
The main goal of the Barrie Folk Society is to bring Folk music to the masses through a not-for-profit organization that cares about the growth and nurturing of the folk music movement.
Countdown to Jory Nash!