September 19, 2014
“He’s definitely been earning his angel wings”from No crazy talk article.
Probably the one topic I wrote about when I worked on the Gulf Islands Driftwoodon Salt Spring Island, BC that put the most tears in my eyes, fire in my belly and motivating anger in my heart was the clearing cutting by Texada in the Burgoyne Bay area and those who worked to prevent it from continuing.
Among the first to kick off the fund raising were musicians Bill Henderson, Tom Hooper, Vadly, Alan Moberg and Ramesh Meyers. There is probably nothing that brings more joy to my heart and fire in my belly than to cover wonderful male musicians.
Here is the piece:
Gulf Islands Driftwood
February 23, 2000
No crazy talk here as musicians raise $3039
by Tanya Lester
Spirit rocked as solid as musician Bill Henderson did at the If You Love Salt Benefit Concert last Friday.
The event attracted a nearly full ArtSpring house to raise money for Texada land acquistion and preservation.
Spirit shone through right from the top of the evening (which was produced by Salt Spring Festival of the Arts Society and hosted by the festival’s Trish Nobile), when Phoenix Hight School student James Janzen read an historic piece authored by a First Nations chief. Janzen said it seemed to relate to the question of land ownership today on Salt Spring. The wirting challenged the idea of purchasing land, as did many First Nations people traditionally.
Theb Susan Cogan, in true south-end fashion, gumbooted up to the microphone where spirit must have been playing on her vocal coards while her voice opened up and you could almost see it boom out over the audience.
Cogan had the audience echoing her words back onto the stage in a Hebrew song honouring water and with her own lyrices, including lines like: “Take this last stand for the forest. My people are crying,” a piece Cogan wrote especially for the evening.
Next up was country musician Alan Moberg, accompanied by Ramesh Meyers. Moberg’s lyrics are refreshinglu unique and oh-so-Salt-Spring. I suspect the number of country musicians who write about the Gulf Islands are few and far between, but Moberg is one who does.
Moberg, like other performers, did a song about loggers. He introduced it by saying that there were loggers in his family background and he has had some difficulty realizing some of them are villians when he recognized them as heroes as a child. The song pays tribute to loggers for “treasures like this guitar in my hand.”
After hearing Moberg’s clear playing and singing, coupled with beautiful, often nature-inspired lyrics, I have to wonder why he does not have a national reputation. Canadians right across the country usually take like ducks to water anything or anyone with a Gulf Islands scent.
Speaking of scent and sensuality, Moberg was followed by Tom Hooper from The Grapes of Wrath. He displayed a very attractive stage vulnerability, and his voice and music are haunting. Her ambidextrous mastery of the guitar and harmonica is impressive.
Hooper’s lyrics also are unique. One of his pieces has a line that goes something like this: “I’ll be your fool if you want me to.” Who’d have thunk words like that could work in a ballad-style musical piece?
Speaking of thunking, in the if-you-live-long-enough listener category, the prize would have to go to Valdy, who did a rap tune called Earth Rap and even had the audience rapping along.
This folk legend, as he is commonly known, began his slot in the evening with a medley of tunes suited especially to the land acquistion cause. Some of these included “Slow down you log too fast” and “If you go down to the woods today.”
Valdy has lent his musical talents to so many social causes and fundraisers that he was able to nearly fill his set on stage with pieces he has penned for a wide range of benefits. He’s definitely been earning his angel wings.
Not that Valdy appears to be anywhere close to death. He was able to make a lot of tracks on stange in his bright orange running shoes.
Then, things changed.
As talented as everyone else was, I have to admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for rock the way Bill Henderson does it.
Henderson told the audience that when he was a kid he did not know what to do with his life so he retreated to his bedroom where he just practised the guitar all the time.
Yeah, I’d say it shows.
I am sure people would have gladly paid the $15 price and probably more (and many have over the years) to see and hear Bill Henderson alone.
His beautifully focussed yet crazy energy is wonderful and when he sang “He talks crazy talk. He don’t mean a word he said,” I though maybe Henderson had been listening in on my phone line during an interview for one of the news stories I was working on last week.
No doubt, Henderson had a certain type of property owner in mind. I guess a good rock rendition speaks a thousand words when it comes to activism.
Henderson also did a crazy piece about loggers. “Nobody but a logger stirs his coffee with his thumb” was one of the choice lines in it.
In “Wild One”, he paid tribute to the spirit of artist and author Emily Carr who “had a relationship with this island” and paid tribute to Douglas fir and other trees in countless of her paintings.
Henderson talked about all the evening’s amazing acts, to which one audience member responed by yelling, “You’re amazing, too.”
Everyone got into the spirit of the evening and it was an amazingly good one that raised $3039 for land acquisition after paying $497.65 for rent to ArtSpring and $88.33 for advertising…
To read the first posts in this blog, please go to http://www.writingsmall.com
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Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader” by Tanya Lester can be purchased from the author or by going to the title and author name to read the first pages and buy it at amazon.com