By Aranda Adams,
Three time Juno winner Connie Kaldor returned to the Opera House on April 12th, delighting a packed crowd of fans with her blend of country, folk, and Prairie focused humour.
The Saskatchewan native last visited Manitou 12 years ago and is now joined by her band, consisting of husband Paul Champagne and sons Aleksi and Gabriel Champagne. Along with her Junos, Kaldor is also a member of the Order of Canada and is the first songwriter to win a Western Literature award.
Kaldor hit the stage full of bombast and irreverent humour, sharing stories of growing up in Saskatchewan and the sort of memories and experiences only small town south central Canada can bring you.
Through the night, Kaldor alternated between guitar and piano, while Paul played bass, Aleksi played fiddle, and mandolin, and Gabriel provided percussion, with all three providing back up vocals. The band began with one of Kaldor's older tracks, "Spring In The Prairie", to set the tone of the night. She took a moment to talk about falling in love and the performative aspect of seeking a partner, stating that "people have been falling in love for years without thongs", before breaking into "You're All Right".
Kaldor's next two songs were preceded by long opening monologues, which were riotously hilarious and certainly captured the Prairie spirit. The first, "Love Sask", began with Kaldor explaining how she decided to write a song about the small Saskatchewan town, Love, inspired by a CBC folk song contest. Much of Kaldor's comedy got quite blue, including a joke about words that rhyme with Regina and comment about the town of Climax being "further south".