Country and folk show set for this Thursday

By Étienne Thevou

Article Contains Audio Content

Morinville – Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and Juno Award-winning entertainer Gary Fjellgaard is coming to Morinville this Thursday, performing at the Morinville Parish Hall with folk singers Saskia and Darrel.

Fjellgaard, 73, has been touring with Canadian balladeer Valdy since the end of October and will now tour with Saskia and Darrel until early December.

“They do a kind of folk-roots music, too,” Fjellgaard said of his current touring companions. “I probably lean a little more to the western side of the roots music and they lean a little more to the folk side.”

But while the two acts have a slightly different style, Fjellgaard said a good portion of the show consists of the three performers working together to please their audience. The performer said the trio concept just sort of happened one day.

“The way it started out is they were my opening act,” Fjellgaard said. I would sit back stage and I would hear them onstage. I’d be playing my little mandolin or singing some harmony back stage and finally I just wandered out one day and I started singing with them.”

But Fjellgaard wasn’t the only one learning new material. Saskia and Darrel had been spending their backstage time learning the country-folk singer’s set lists.

“It just sort of evolved,” Fjellgaard said. “We end up doing probably half of the show together as a little group. It just works really, really fine.”

As to Fjellgaard’s own music, it has been described as being about vanishing values and the frontier spirit. The performer said he grew up in Saskatchewan when horses were the tractor of the day. As such, he has carried remembrances of that simpler time through his life and into the music he plays and stories he tells during his shows.

“I guess I’m singing about the old fashioned way, I suppose, and a lot of my songs reflect that – the indomitable spirit of the cowboy that maybe we need more of, and just getting back to the basics,” Fjellgaard said.

But whatever song the septuagenarian singer is performing, it is assured to be as Canadian as the Come. Two of Fjellgaard’s latest songs carry Canadian themes. Broken Heroes is about Fjellgaard’s brother-in-law Stewart Anderson, a man who was wounded in Belgium during the Second World War and a man Fjellgaard considers a real life hero. The second song is called I Apologize and is dedicated to First Nation victims and survivors of the residential school system.

Both songs are available for free download.

  1. Broken Heroes
  2. I Apologize

Tickets to the Gary Fjellgaard concert are $20 per person and available at Vintage Petals Tea House or by calling Denise at 780-939-4401.

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