I’ve posted the live Valdy Home Routes House Concert in two segments. Shot in HD video, this house concert in Onanole, Manitoba was sold out, with many folks going down memory lane. Valdy was a part of our growing up, our many years at the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s kid’s stage with our children, and he continues to perform almost 200 live concerts a year.
As you will see in Valdy House Concert – Part 1 and Valdy House Concert – Part 2, the evening was full of new and old songs, audience participation, and lots of great laughter. He is a Canadian treasure and as a fellow folkie on the house concert circuit suggested recently, he should be nominated for an Order of Canada. I agree!
Here is Part 1 of the house concert, to tease you..Enjoy!
Valdy skated into Onanole, stayed a night, delighted 48 odd fans, went for a walk, and blew out the next morning to Ashern, where 58 fans were delighted. As Tim Cameron, the Ashern Host on this Home Routes House Concert Yellow circuit shared with me recently, “this man should get the Order of Canada“. I agree.
When we sat down over our morning coffee before he departed for Ashern, Valdy had a few really neat things to share…He speaks of his red shoes, continuity, and traditions and why “top down” won’t work. He has, through his travels, seen the seasons changing, lands changing under human hands, and honestly addresses some of our collective deficiencies in ways that are thoughtful and full of caring. He gives us his many years of experiences as a performer, and as a craftsman … Music has power in the hands of such a man.
I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with our Canadian bard.
Rarely do you find a troubadour whose songwriting skills, mastery of the political sphere, sheer talent in musicality, and self-effacing manner come together into songs that you can’t help singing.
For almost two hours, we sang, laughed, and were treated to songs that took us into the heart of the most human of situations – from “That’s An Odd Way to Do Things” about the police working east side Vancouver to help the down-trodden, to his classic “Yes I Can”, or the delightful tribute to the very ordinary people on our planet “Stars”, this man can tell stories like very few others. In doing so, you feel like you are a canoe that’s being portaged…somewhat handled, definitely not dropped, and moving through a country-side that is full of quintessential Canada.
It is one thing to entertain. It is another to educate. But, when a good songwriter and musician bring a sharp focus to both entertain and educate, you are in for a treat. Cara Luft did just that last night at her Home Routes House Concert in Onanole, Manitoba. Having been raised in a home in Calgary, where folk-singing was part of the family repertoire, Cara was exposed to traditional British folk-songs, the songs of family friend James Keelaghan (who has since moved to Winnipeg, and won Juno), and many other styles and genres of music. Her guitar playing and songwriting started at an early age.
Cara Luft Performs at Home Routes House Concert in Onanole
Just before Cara left for Ashern, Manitoba, another stop on her Home Routes house circuit this November (2009), I asked Cara to respond to a few questions about her artistic performance last night with about 35 people present for a Friday night in Onanole. I am sure that you’ll be delighted with some of her reflections in her interview below. Enjoy!
We are excited to host 2009 East Coast Music Award Winner Christina Martin and Steven Bowers at a house concert in Onanole on Friday night, August 28th. Call 848.7443 for tix ($15pp), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Fearing House Concert, Onanole, Manitoba. June 6, 2009
Onanole, Manitoba ( Canada) perched on the southern boundary of Riding Mountain National Park is certainly receiving its fine share of music. Last night (June 6, 2009) was a rare delight, in which multiple Juno award-winning Stephen Fearing roared into Onanole, polished up his Linda Manzer-made guitar, put on his nails, and sped us across time and landscape. From Nashville to Guelph, from Ireland to Newfoundland, and from vocals to instrumentals, this was a night to remember. Perched on a stool, with about 45 rapt house concert guests eagerly and appreciatively settled in from Brandon, Neepawa, Dauphin and many other local communities, we came to listen to someone who has a passion for excellence in the ways that words and melodies come together. Just listen to how long and loud the applause is after each song.
To be able to spend a few hours with Stephen Fearing is to be witness to a great songwriter, but it is also a delightful experience to be close to a man who is full of humour and care. I am sure that the families, the folkies, the young musicians, and the elder musicians who were “in the house” with Stephen Fearing last night will remember this evening. These songs bring to mind images of riding the rails, traveling the highways, entering the souls and personalities of ordinary people but through the extra-ordinary creative songwriting and musical crafting of Stephen Fearing. And, we are fiercely happy and proud of this amazing Canadian. And, thank goodness for the generosity of these artists, who agree to come to our homes, and make themselves accessible to perform. There is nothing quite like live roots music.
Audio Interview with Stephen Fearing
Listen to this short audio interview with Stephen (morning of June 7) between Celes Davar and Stephen, which ends with his playing of a beautiful and haunting new song about a recent event off the coast of Newfoundland.
Link to the entire House Concert (audio recording)
The house concert is licenced under Creative Commonsas an Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada Licence. Basically, this means that you are free to listen to it, but not distribute it, modify it, or charge anything for it. (Please respect this.)
We’ve had a really great series of songwriters dropping into Onanole, Manitoba recently. And, it does not seem to dropping off any too soon. Which is really great news for anyone who follows and supports the live roots, traditional and folk scene. On June 1, Miss Emily Brown, Sara Ciantar, James Lamb and Richard St. Onge from Vancouver put together a beautiful house concert that was quite mesmerizing – original songs, lap steel guitar, cello, accordion, voice, autoharp, and electric guitar.
On Saturday, June 6th, Stephen Fearing joins us for a house concert. He played the newly renovated West End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg on June 4th. This is very special – to have a multiple Juno award winning songwriter here, in our community. This house concert is almost sold out, by word of mouth. He will have his new CD with him. Call 848.7443 to check for available tickets.
In addition, on Saturday, June 13, another Juno award-winner touches down at Poor Michael’s Bookshop and Café. Ken Hamm, a well-respected guitarist will be playing at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at Poor Michael’s at the door.
We find that the opportunity to be up-close and in a very intimate setting provides an opportunity for some moments of pure joy, awe, and spontaneity. Great songs, unique stories, great guitar work, and putting your life on pause seems to be the order of the day when a house concert happens. The growth of house concerts across the prairies is a recent innovation. One of the innovators of this approach is none other than Mitch Podolak, who was the founder of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and has created a new concept that is receiving wonderful support and kudoes – the Home Routes House Concert series.
Monday, June 1st - What could four from Vancouver be doing in Onanole – why playing at a House Concert, of course. This collaboration of vibrant voices, eclectic songs and multi-instrumentation promises to be something we have just not had previously.