Valdy returns to Okanagan

Valdy and musical partner Gary Fjellgaard are set to return to the Okanagan for the 15th time.

Valdy returns to Okanagan



Paul Valdemar Horsdal, better known as Canadian singer/songwriter Valdy, is set to return to the Okanagan for the 15th time.

He met with current musical partner Gary Fjellgaard after covering his song about parting ways with a cherished Martin guitar, Me and Martin. The tune struck a chord with Valdy.

“I have pawned my instruments over the years and that’s what that song talks about. The thing being a friend and we put its life in danger by pawning it. Then we get it back again. It just shares so many road stories of our lives, and in fact is integral to them. I have a Martin guitar as well so the song rang very close to home,” Valdy said.

He wished he had written it himself.

“If I want to say the same thing, rather than compete, I’ll just use that same song,” Valdy said. “Which is what I did in this case. I’d like to say I’ve been paving Gary’s driveway, but I think I’ve been gravelling it.”

Valdy got in touch with Fjellgaard and asked if he would like to perform a couple of tour dates. The two departed on their first tour years ago, they dubbed it the “Creek Tour” in Pincher Creek and Bragg Creek in southern Alberta.

“They were both sold out and were very well received, so we figured, well, this just might work,” Valdy said.

The two started writing material together, made a record and are now touring the Okanagan for the 15th time. The tour originally started for famed Canadian playwright George Ryga who made his home in Summerland.

“He was a writer of social activism. He represented the downtrodden or the misrepresented or the non-represented perhaps. I think not many people do that, there certainly is not a cash cow in it, but it’s a needed voice,” Valdy said. “We tend to forget about people unless it’s brought across our bow and he was very good at doing that with his plays.”

It was those themes Ryga embraced that stuck with Fjellgaard and Valdy and led them to honour Ryga with an annual Okanagan tour.

“He was a compassionate writer and a compassionate man and he deserved to be remembered and so we decided we would do this annually in order to keep his memory out there,” Valdy said.

The duo, dubbed The Contenders, are touring their latest album, Off the Floor, released last year.

“It takes a year or two for the songs to really settle in and find their niche. We record them first and really learn how to settle into them. They iterate as we play them,” Valdy said.

The two recorded Off the Floor in a completely new way, coming into the studio without backing tracks or studio magic, just two men playing and singing their music.

“I have never done it before. I’ve gone in and done demos like this, but we just went in, played the song until we had a good take, we’d go in and listen, say well maybe a little here a little bit there and go back and play it again. We built the tunes as we went along. It made the session a little longer, but it wasn’t onerous by any means. We decided it would just be two voices and two guitars because that’s what we do on stage,” Valdy said. “It’s strikingly honest and it’s to the heart of the music as opposed to layering it with a bunch of filigree and perhaps pretention.”

Fjellgaard and Valdy aren’t sick of each other just yet after 15 years of touring.

“There’s always new stories,” Valdy said.

Valdy took a moment to recognize the achievements of his musical counterpart Fjellgaard.

“He’s 79 now and he’s still out there kickin’ it. So he’s been my poster boy,” Valdy said.

Valdy and Fjellgaard return to the Okanagan stopping at the Barking Parrot on Nov. 1 and the Centre Stage Theatre in Summerland on Nov. 2.

 

Just Posted

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read