Casey Prediger plays for the Sooke Coffee House on May 16 at Holy Trinity.

Casey Prediger plays for the Sooke Coffee House on May 16 at Holy Trinity.

Sooke Coffee House brings in Casey Prediger

Monthly entertainment provided by Sooke Folk Music Society

Casey Prediger-singer/songwriter and raconteur

The Sooke Folk Music Society has been bringing fine musical entertainment to our community for well over 18 years now. This Saturday, May 16, we are proud to be carrying on that tradition with our monthly Coffee House featuring Casey Prediger.

The year was 1967. It was the peak of the 1960’s Renaissance. A young man found a desire to become a professional performer, having been bitten by the bug in his teen years when he found something that transcended the years of high school bullying. Playing guitar and singing songs was an activity that resounded within the lost soul of a man desperate to finding purpose in his life. Casey Prediger packed his guitar and minimal other possessions and hit the road, hitchhiking from Vancouver to Toronto.

Casey soon realized that he was out of his league when it came to his skill level as a guitarist and began to seek the company of those that were more accomplished than him. His skills as a guitarist improved and he was never seen without a guitar in his hand.

Casey began to experience a desire to write songs. He was however, so emotionally bound up that he spent weeks staring at a blank sheet of paper. Then, one day a few words came and the flood gates began to open. During this song writing genesis, words began to pour out from his soul and he would sing these songs at every opportunity that presented itself.

One day while at a social gathering, Casey played one of the songs that he had composed. A young gentleman came up to him with words of encouragement and gave Casey a phone number of a friend of his that might be able to help him with his songs. Casey thanked the man and slipped the piece of paper into his pocket, thinking no more about it.

The next day, when fumbling through his pockets, he found the piece of crumpled paper and discovered that he had been given Gordon Lightfoot’s home phone number. He wrestled with the thought of actually making the call and after weeks of internal struggle, finally dialled the number. Moments later, the voice of Gordon Lightfoot was heard and Casey was shocked when he was invited over to Lightfoot’s home.

It was January of 1968 when this interaction occurred and Casey spent over three hours sharing songs and listening to the advice that Gordon had for him.  In that time, he gave Casey a song writing lesson he never forgot.

Casey toured all over North America until the mid-1980’s, during that time he shared venues with artists such as Joni Mitchell, Ritchie Havens, Josh White, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee,  Seals & Crofts, John Lee Hooker, Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLaughlin, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. He played in all the best folk clubs of the time.

Casey, who was raised on Vancouver Island, returned to the Island in 2010, where he renewed old friendships as well as his love of sailing and motorcycle riding. He will be joined this Saturday by his friend of many years, Rick Van Krugel on mandolin.

We hope you can make it out for a night of extraordinary music with Casey Prediger and his very accomplished mandolin player, Rick Van Krugel. It all happens this Saturday evening, May 16 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church. As always, doors open at 7 p.m. with open stage at 7:30 and our feature act at 9. See you there!

Dave Gallant

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