Thursday, June 9, 2016

Qu'Appelle Valley calls to B.D. Willoughby

Stephanie McKay, Saskatoon StarPhoenix
More from Stephanie McKay, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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   The striking image of a woman in black looking out at a hilly Saskatchewan countryside was the catalyst for a new album by Regina musician B.D. Willoughby. Qu’Appelle Valley is a roots record that beckons people to learn more about the history of the place for which it’s named.
   – B.D. Willoughby, aka Brett Dolter, discovered the photo through a book called Qu’Appelle: Tales of Two Valleys, which was created for an exhibit at the Mendel Art Gallery. It reminded him of the Legend of the Qu’Appelle Valley by E. Pauline Johnson, a story about two lovers who lived there. Returning from a hunt, a young man heard someone call out his name. He asked ‘Who calls?’ in French (‘Que Appelle?’), but heard no response. When he returned to his village his love had died. Residents told him before she died, she had called his name. Legend has it, you can still hear that call echoing through the valley. That story and photo inspired the title track of the album...

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