Click here to access
His best known song is probably Woman of Labrador, released in 2005. His musical roots go back to the UK’s 1960s folk revival. CKTZ listeners know him as the host of the Folk Club, every Wednesday at 10:00 AM. I recently interviewed Andy Vine about folk music, his trip to Ireland and much more.
Andy Vine’s Pilgrimage
Andy was born in Swansea, in the south of Wales, but spent most of his formative years in a suburb of Liverpool.
His decades long connection with Ireland began with music. By 1963, Andy was in a folk group.
They “decided to do a little pilgrimage to Ireland to find out more about the music they were singing.” “I just loved the culture and the people. They were so friendly and they love music so much. So when I went back to England I told my brother all about this and he was looking for a place to study for his masters degree in marine zoölogy … So he looked up Galway University, where they had a program he interested in, and got accepted at Galway University. While he was there he met his future wife,” says Andy.
He added, “They live in her home town, … Clifden, which is where I [just] went and where the art’s festival [he performed in] was. So many years later that connection that I first started through my love of folk music … still lives on.”
Steele’s Tavern On Yonge Street
Andy has returned to Ireland many times over the past half century, but one of the great “What ifs” of his life occurred almost immediately after he emigrated to Canada in 1967.
“When I first landed in Toronto, Gordon Lightfoot had just made his mark at a place called Steele’s tavern … I went to Steele’s tavern and asked to audition and they liked what they heard. They offered me a week … Then they said, you have to be in the union of course. You are in the union aren’t you?”
“And I said, ‘No.’”
“So I went down to the union hall, to join the union. They said, ‘Well, how long have you been in Canada?”
I said, ‘ A couple of months.’
“Oh you can’t join the union until you’ve been here six months.”
“So I was snookered, couldn’t take the gig.”
Andy found other ways to make money, but “kept up the music.”
“I find if I don’t do it, I miss it. It is good for me to do it,” he explained. (Keep Reading)