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Juno Award Winner
Gary Fjellgaard

 

Born on the Canadian prairies in Rose Valley, Saskatchewan, Gary Fjellgaard moved west to Prince George B.C. as a teenager and got his first break in show business when he barnstormed with the Hall of Famer Evan Kemp & his B.C. Trailriders. However reality was a chainsaw during the week and a guitar on the weekends to support his growing family. These blue-collar years became a basis for many of Gary's songs.

In 1970 music became his full-time occupation. Since then, he has taken his music to the people with a rare sincerity, baring his soul in each and every live appearance and recording session. His western roots music has survived categorization, and a move further west to Gabriola Island brought a universal quality to his songwriting. As one writer put it: "His music is so rich that his art is free of bitterness, Whining, self pity and manufactured pathos." His strong sense of self worth has always meant that his songs ring true as the man himself.

As a champion of vanishing values and frontier spirit, Gary's songs about lone horsemen riding through verdant valleys and along moonlit mountainside trails are not fabricated solely from his imagination. He keeps in touch with his roots riding cattle drives and entertaining at Cowboy gatherings across North America. Gary has also played with some world - class musicians over the years, his shows range from the intimacy of the small theatre to the excitement of mainstage appearances at Canada's top festivals.

An award winning performer, Gary Fjellgaard's accomplishments include a 1993 Juno for Country Male Vocalist, 3 Single of the Year awards, 4 Composer of the Year awards and 3 Album of the Year awards among many others.

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Valdy meet Gary Fjellgaard; Gary Fjellgaard, this is ValdyOf Course, introductions are unnecessary - these two guys have known each other far too long for any kind of formality. Now, with their first album together, Contenders, on the leading Canadian roots music record label, Stony Plain - and a national tour underway, they make the most logical duo in Canadian music.Consider, if you will, what they share. They\'re both family men. They both live on small islands off the coast of British Columbia. They\'re both singer-songwriters with an eye for memorable tunes and finely-honed images. They\'re both road warriors who tour, and tour, and tour.They\'re both committed Canadians, and, more particularly, committed Western Canadians. And their music draws on all the aspects of life in the west. \"Western roots\" they call it. It\'s music that, in every note, echoes the mountains and the sea, the cowboys and the fishermen, the oil well roustabouts and the loggers, the sunsets and the rain, the streak of rugged independence and contrariness that so many display, and the generosity and warmth that make Westerners so welcoming to all. Valdy, born Valdemar Horsdal in Ottawa, has been part of the fabric of Canadian pop and folk music for years. A man with a thousand friends, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, he\'s a songwriter who catches the small but telling moments that make up life.Still remembered for Play Me a Rock and Roll Song, his bitter-sweet memory of finding himself, a relaxed and amiable story-teller, facing a rambunctious audience at a rock festival, Valdy has sold almost half a million copies of his 13 albums, and has two Juno Awards (a total of seven Juno nominations), and four Gold albums to his credit.Along the way, he\'s taken his music to a dozen different countries, from Denmark to Australia, been an invited performer for five years in a row at the prestigious Kerrville Festival in Texas, and even played a lead role in an episode of The Beachcombers.Today, he\'s based on Salt Spring Island, where he lives with his wife, three dogs and a cat (the three grown-up \"kids\" are all now living in other parts of British Columbia). Gary Fjellgaard has been described as a \"national treasure\" and one writer summed up his music this way: \"It is so rich that his art is free of bitterness, whining, self-pity, and manufactured pathos. He is the poet of the extravagantly good side of the human spirit; breathtakingly humane and compassionate.\"Like Valdy, Fjellgaard came to the Gulf Islands (he lives with his wife on Gabriola Island) well into his 25-year career. The island’s peaceful calm (not to mention the view from his living room window) makes it hard for him, sometimes, to leave. It is not only a haven from the road, and a different geography than the one he knew growing up in Saskatchewan, but a place to write the sort of songs that lovingly recall the past, take an affectionate view of the present and look optimistically into the future.He has a stubborn streak, which is why he\'s never changed his Norwegian name so people who don\'t know him could spell and pronounce it properly; now nearly everyone knows it\'s pronounced Fell-Gard. As a songwriter, he\'s a storyteller - and the stories he tells come from his two decades in the logging industry, his annual stints as a trail-riding cowboy, and his travels back and forth across Canada.His reputation has been earned in the country music field, and if his songs bear little resemblance to the \"hot new country\" that fills the airwaves today, he has had more than his share of successes - and has a shelf-full of awards to prove it. Together, Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard are a near-perfect team. The songs they\'ve written for Contenders touch their common ground with the familiarity and warmth only old friends can share. They are both experienced entertainers who know how to earn the respect of their audiences, and deliver shows, night after night, that send people home with smiles and the feeling that they\'ve experienced something special and heartwarming.The pair are in the midst of a national tour to support Contenders, and to bring the songs to audiences across the country. No spotlights. No stacks of heavy-duty speakers and power amplifiers. No all-star backup band. Just two guys, two guitars, and two dozen songs or more that tell where they\'ve been, where they are and where they\'re going.

A new decade really needs the old verities more than ever before, and these contenders prove the point.

thanks to Marci at Noteworthy Concepts

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Valdy & Gary Fjellgaard Contenders

CD (December 28, 1999)
Original Release Date: April 4, 2000
Label: Stony Plain Music

a duet from Vancouver Island's Hall of Fame

Gary Fjellgaard Caragana Wind

Listen to Caragana Wind and it will sweep you away across the Great Divide and Rocky Mountains, to the edge of the continent. From the Prairies to the Gulf Islands, down the Baja, the journey covers territory and time, stirring up memories and stories, enlivened with a breath of fresh air and fully realized in visionary songs.

Gary Fjellgaard's 12th album is his best work, signposts from 35 years on the road, playing for people and listening too, carefully observing lives and the landscape.

"I knew Caragana Wind" was a good song and it was confirmed by audiences. I searched for others in a drawer-full of unfinished material and wrote new songs that were more than just radio fodder," he recalls.

"I wanted an acoustic sound with the vocals up front, to resist the over sweetening that musicians add as protection from the scary reality of their own voices," says Fjellgaard, who would require quintuple heart surgery during the project.

"I came back to the rough mix with a second wind and fresh ears," he reports, "and took my own advice about keeping a sense of humour, including in my songs and on-stage."

Caragana was grown as a windbreak and the song was written after a "good old visit" with the family homestead, in Rose Valley, Saskatchewan. It’s derelict now, empty for 50 years, "barn-board grey," like the couple in the title track and obscured by plants, abandoned by humans.

This is Fjellgaard’s most diverse and ambitious work, deceptively simple, with background vocalists Linda Kidder and Peter Padden, who have sung with him for decades and hand-picked musicians, all recorded in the Gerry Paquette’s basement studio in Nanaimo.

There is a completeness in the new CD that comes with time well spent. Starting with a tribute to a horse "Sweet Nellie," it continues on an autobiographical emigration aboard a "Steel Horse Lullaby." There are side excursions: the hilarious misadventures of a gringo on a "Malecon," a couple lost in song under a "Mexican Moon," and the madcap politics of "By the Sea."

Also included are poignant longings for "Barefoot Days," a tribute to the "Raw Courage" of those who fought and lost in raging BC forest fires, and the crowd-pleasing memory of "Pop Campbell's Barn."

The familiar Fjellgaard theme of vanishing values includes Vaqueros in "If the Cowboy Goes Away," becoming comical in "Lonely Desperado," a cowboy waltz "Whisper of Love" and a final message, "The Long Haul."

"I'm fortunate to be able to use my imagination to create songs people pay to hear, enough to make a living at least," he says. "For me, it's always been about the music and the love of it."

Gary

Gary Fjellgaard Under Western Skies

CD (May 7, 1996)
Original Release Date: May 7, 1996
Label: Stony Plain Music

 

Christmas Dream, A Valdy, Gary Fjellgaard, Nathan Tinkham, Saskia Munroe

A CHRISTMAS DREAM CD PROJECT
FOR B.C. FOOD BANKS
A Christmas Dream CD is a unique collaboration featuring 11 original and traditional Christmas songs from legendary Canadian musicians Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard, B.C. singer/songwriters Nathan Tinkham and Saskia Munroe and songwriter Darrel Delaronde. Created to raise money for B.C. food banks, the recording presents a musical feast that is destined to become a Christmas classic.
Inspired by the annual Huron Carol tour, this project was born when Saskia Munroe contacted her favorite B.C. musicians and asked if they had any original Christmas songs to contribute to a fundraising CD for B.C. foodbanks. The response was immediate and enthusiastic and the recording quickly turned into a collaboration with Valdy, Fjellgaard and Munroe providing harmonies to each other’s songs and Tinkham adding his award-winning guitar throughout. From Valdy’s jazzy Secret Santa to Fjellgaard and Munroe’s moving version of I Saw Three Ships, this CD is a seamless blend of original and traditional songs. All the musicians have donated 100% of their talent and time to create this CD.

The enthusiasm of the musicians is matched by the support of the small southeastern B.C. town of Revelstoke where Munroe and her co-executive producer, Krista Stovel, are based. From garage sales to fundraising concerts all of the monies raised has come from local individuals, businesses, service clubs and foundations. The beautiful painting on the CD cover was created by local artist David S. Walker and the Revelstoke Arts Council is sponsoring the project. Through Revelstoke’s community spirit the producers were able to raise all the money needed to produce and manufacture the CD so that 100% of the profits will go to the food banks where the CDs are sold. ($18 to food banks and $2 to go back into remanufacturing.)

In November 2002, there will be concerts in Revelstoke and Invermere to raise money for local food banks through concert proceeds and CD sales. A tour reaching more communities will take place next year. The goal for A Christmas Dream is to raise funds and awareness of the important role the food banks play in each community and create a recording that will generate income for B.C. food banks long past it’s release in 2002.


If you would like more information please contact Krista Stovel at:
ph: 1.250.837.3515 or email:
christmasdream@saskia.ca

Nathan Tinkham - guitar, dobro & vocals

Valdy - guitar,bass & vocals

Gary Fjellgaard - guitar & vocals

Saskia Munroe - bass & vocals

Krista Stovel - vocals

Gary Fjellgaard Believe In Forever

Gary Fjellgaard - 'Believe In Forever'. From the intimate theatre to the outdoor stage, Gary Fjellgaard effortlessly bridges the gap between country and folk, drawing his audience in with the magic of lyrical imagery. Stories and songs of wind swept prairies, rushing rivers, the working man, cowboy heroes and romance insinuate themselves in listener's hearts and minds with their sheer honesty and warmth all ringing true as the man himself. Uniquely Canadian, this prairie-raised west coast balladeer is a champion of vanishing values and frontier spirit. Gary's songs about lone horsemen riding through verdant valleys and along moonlit mountainside trails are not fabricated solely from his imagination. He keeps in touch with his roots riding in the Annual Kamloops Cattle Drive, and has entertained at Cowboy gatherings from Calgary to Tucson. After 25 years as a professional musician, with seven of his songs being picked as Song of the Year, Gary Fjellgaard looks back on hundreds of towns and cities, thousands of gigs, and hundreds of thousands of listeners who have been touched profoundly by his music. "He is a poet of the extravagantly good side of human spirit; breathtakingly sane and compassionate.

Gary Fjellgaard No Time To Lose

Gary Fjellgaard - 'No Time To Lose'.    From the intimate theatre to the outdoor stage, Gary Fjellgaard effortlessly bridges the gap between country and folk, drawing his audience in with the magic of lyrical imagery.   Stories and songs of wind swept prairies, rushing rivers, the working man, cowboy heroes and romance insinuate themselves in listener's hearts and minds with their sheer honesty and warmth all ringing true as the man himself.    Uniquely Canadian, this prairie-raised west coast balladeer is a champion of vanishing values and frontier spirit.
     Gary's songs about lone horsemen riding through verdant valleys and along moonlit mountainside trails are not fabricated solely from his imagination. He keeps in touch with his roots riding in the Annual Kamloops Cattle Drive, and has entertained at Cowboy gatherings from Calgary to Tucson.
     After 25 years as a professional musician, with seven of his songs being picked as Song of the Year, Gary Fjellgaard looks back on hundreds of towns and cities, thousands of gigs, and hundreds of thousands of listeners who have been touched profoundly by his music. "He is a poet of the extravagantly good side of human spirit; breathtakingly sane and compassionate."

Gary Fjellgaard Time and Innocence

RARE

Gary Fjellgaard - 'Time and Innocence'. From the intimate theatre to the outdoor stage, Gary Fjellgaard effortlessly bridges the gap between country and folk, drawing his audience in with the magic of lyrical imagery. Stories and songs of wind swept prairies, rushing rivers, the working man, cowboy heroes and romance insinuate themselves in listener's hearts and minds with their sheer honesty and warmth all ringing true as the man himself. Uniquely Canadian, this prairie-raised west coast balladeer is a champion of vanishing values and frontier spirit. Gary's songs about lone horsemen riding through verdant valleys and along moonlit mountainside trails are not fabricated solely from his imagination. He keeps in touch with his roots riding in the Annual Kamloops Cattle Drive, and has entertained at Cowboy gatherings from Calgary to Tucson. After 25 years as a professional musician, with seven of his songs being picked as Song of the Year, Gary Fjellgaard looks back on hundreds of towns and cities, thousands of gigs, and hundreds of thousands of listeners who have been touched profoundly by his music. "He is a poet of the extravagantly good side of human spirit; breathtakingly sane and compassionate."

Gary Fjellgaard Grande Olde Ride

A collection of cowboy songs

Born in 1937 in Saskatchewan, Canada, folk and country singer Gary Fjellgaard grew up performing with his church choir. He later moved to British Columbia, working as a logger and playing various clubs at night. Eventually, two albums appeared for Royalty Records, 1976's Me and Martin and 1979's Ballads and Beer. After getting a country award for his "Ten Years Old and Barefoot" single in 1982, Fjellgaard signed with Savannah Music. As a result, No Time to Lose appeared in 1986, Time and Innocence in 1987, Heart of a Dream in 1989, Winds of October in 1991 and Believe in Forever in 1994. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide

Gary Fjellgaard Best of Gary Fjellgaard

CD (November 18, 1997)
Original Release Date: November 18, 1997
Label: Stony Plain Music

"These songs are a reflection of the romance and the spirit of the cowboy, impressions of my early years on the Prairies, love songs and songs of the seas. I never get tired of singing them, folks keep requesting them and to me that means they are standing the test of time. I hope the three new songs added to this collection will do the same. "   Gary

Gary Fjellgaard
Raw Courage:A Song by Gary Fjellgaard

a collectors item
This sealed cd was released in 2003 in support of BC Forest Fire Victims of the tragic B.C. forest fires.