Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard

Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard

BandFolkWorld

Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard are two of the best-loved folk and country artists in Canada. Their new release, “Contenders Two: Still In The Running” combines their talents in a relaxed, easy-going setting, presenting warm-hearted (and mostly original) songs.

Biography

Valdy’s been a significant part of Canada’s folk scene for as long as most people can remember, and a wider audience still remembers him for “Play Me a Rock and Roll Song,” still a staple of classic rock radio. His true fans, and you can find them all over Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia and New Zealand, know him for his relaxed, easy-going stage shows.

And his friend Gary Fjellgaard (you say it Fell-guard) is the same, except he came up through Canada’s country music scene. Raised on the Prairies, he’s a champion, along with Stony Plain label-mate Ian Tyson, of the vanishing West’s frontier spirit, cattle drives, wagon treks and men and women with ties to the land. Individually, they’ve won Juno Awards and Canadian Country Music Association honours (Gary’s a member of their Hall of Fame), sold hundreds of thousands of records, and they revel in life on the road, meeting new people, and sharing their songs.

And they have much in common. They both make their homes on the Southern Gulf Islands in British Columbia - Valdy on Saltspring, Gary on Gabriola. They are both at ease, armed only with their trusty guitars, in front of audiences, and it doesn’t matter whether there are thousands of listeners, or a couple of dozen, whether they’re on stage at a major festival, or playing in a friend’s living room. And both of them have long, strong marriages and families and warm welcoming homes to come back to after weeks on the road.

The first collaboration by Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard, a gentle, modest CD called “Contenders,” was released by Stony Plain back in the year 2000. It was a simple CD; the songs stuck to the inside of our mind, and these two veterans know the rules: The songs have to tell the truth, and they have to be about what the writers know.
Now, seven years on, they’ve made another recording, and Stony Plain is every bit as proud to release it. Valdy and Gary call it “Contenders Two” and the record’s sub-title is “Still in the Running.” And so they are. The voices are strong, the arrangements sparse and economical, and the songs as honest as ever.

In an era where volume and instrumental virtuosity too often count for more than quiet and calm and meaning and thoughtfulness, a CD like this seems strangely out of fashion. And yet the truth is, well, true. And “Contenders Two” is indeed Still in the Running.

Discography

Gary Fjellgaard:
Time and Innocence - 1983
No Time To Lose - 1986
Heart Of A Dream - 1989
Winds Of October - 1991
Believe In Forever - 1994
Under Western Skies - 1996
The Best Of Gary Fjellgaard - 1997
Grande Olde Ride - 2001
Caragana Wind - 2005
Secret Santa - 2007

Valdy:
Country Man - 1972
Landscapes - 1973
Family Gathering - 1974
See How The Years Have Gone By - 1975
Valdy & The Hometown Band - 1976
Hot Rocks - 1979
1001 - 1079
Passport: Best Of Valdy - 1980
Valdy's Kids' - 1981
Notes From Places - 1986
Heart @ Work - 1993
Smorgasbard - 1996
Valdy: Millenium Collection - 2001
Viva Valdy: Live At Last - 2003

Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard :
Contenders - 2000
Contenders Two: Still In The Running - 2007

Set List

1) For The Love Of It
2) River Stay ‘Way From My Door
3) You Only Live Once In Awhile
4) VLT
5) The Fever
6) Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness
7) Seven Spanish Angels
8) Billy Miner
9) Them Old Songs
10) Bay Of Sails
11) Still In The Running