TORONTO (CP) -- Gilles Vigneault proved that you don't need a
good voice to sing well. Nor do you need to sing in the same
language as your audience.
"I'll try it in English. But the French in easier," he told the crowd of about 5,000 at the closing concert of the three-day Mariposa Folk Festival. But it made no difference.
The 38-year-old chansonnier from Natashquan, Que., whose voice is a foggy tenor, sang Mon Pays, danced a jig, and exuded such charm that the crowd clapped and cheered him.
Vigneault was not the only performer who caused excitement at the festival at Toronto's Centre Island.
Joni Mitchell, the lissome, 25-year-old blonde from Fort Macleod, Alta., was repeatedly called back to sing from a repertoire of more than 100 songs.
Joni, who began her professional career at the Mariposa four years ago, told the audience:
"When I first sang here, no one was much interested in me. But tonight you're a beautiful audience."
Oscar Brand of CTV's Let's Sing Out gave a tribute to the late Woody Guthrie, singing his own bawdy interpretations of songs, then comparing them with Guthrie's protest lyrics of the 1940's and 1950's.
Tom Klues of Ottawa, sang the tunes about the Ottawa Valley and the Atlantic provinces, like the Nova Scotia ballad The Devil and the Farmer's Wife.
The afternoons were reserved for workshop sessions where musicians and folk dancers gathered and performed informally. There were seminars on poetry, gospel music, and East Indian sitar music.
More than 114 performers appeared during the weekend.
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