Mabou stage welcomes Canadian legend Valdy

August 15, 2019

MABOU, NOVA SCOTIA: Valdy (born Valdemar Horsdal in Ottawa) has been part of the fabric of Canadian pop and folk music for half a century. He is well known for “Play Me a Rock ‘n’ Roll Song” but has also delighted audiences everywhere performing classics such as “Peter & Lou”, “Yes I Can”, “Renaissance”, “Sonny’s Dream” and many more.

Valdy will once again bring his talent and charm to all three Maritime Provinces this fall including a performance Sunday, September 29th at the beautiful Strathspey Performing Arts Centre in Mabou, N.S., his only Cape Breton Island stop on the tour.

One of Canada’s premier folk artists, Valdy had an improbable hit with a song about a decidedly hostile audience heckling a soft-spoken minstrel. The square-peg-in-a-round-hole story recounts Valdy’s bitter-sweet memory of finding himself, a relaxed and amiable storyteller, facing a rambunctious audience playing at the Aldergrove Rock Festival in 1968, where the rock-loving audience jeered his folk offerings.

Valdy has always recognized the irony that a bad gig turned into a hit. In 2012, he told an interviewer, “I was hired as a folk singer to go and play at a rock festival. I was out of place and … I got the reception I deserved, let’s put it that way. They wanted rock, they gave me a hard time about it, and I got a great song out of it.” Ironically, Valdy is in the Victoria Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame.

Play Me a Rock and Roll Song’s success is attributable in part to several factors. It cleverly played into the hippy counter-culture movement, while embodying the tensions between rock and folk fans (which Bob Dylan discovered when he infamously used electric instruments at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival). 

Tickets to see Valdy in concert can be purchased online at, by phone at 902-945-5300, or in person at the Strathspey box office in Mabou (Monday – Friday, 11am-3pm). 

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