By John Swartz
Gordon Lightfoot made an unannounced appearance at the 2019 Mariposa Folk Festival Saturday night. Whether or not Gord will be at the annual festival held in Orillia’ Tudhope Park has become kind of a game among many festival goers because over the 23 year history of the event’s residency in its home town (20 straight years in 2019) he’s been on the main stage more often than not.
The only thing different about this appearance was the presence of a chair on stage. He told the audience, despite checking he had everything needed for the evening (he always has his guitar with him when visiting his hometown of Orillia, whether it’s for Mariposa or any other occasion), he discovered he forgot to pack his guitar strap, so he was going to sit
“I’m only going to do one song,” he told the audience. “And there’s really only one I can do.” He sang If You Could Read My Mind.
Some years he has not sounded very strong, but this year his voice was more controlled and powerful than last year, which was his best outing in Orillia since the aneurysm he suffered in 2002.
His appearance was sandwiched between The Stars and Tom Cochrane. As The Stars were wrapping up their set, Torquil Campbell teased the audience about the addition to the lineup without mentioning a name, “I think you’re going to like this youngster,” he said.
When Tom Cochrane got his turn, he said if Canada had a Mount Rushmore, Gord’s image should be at the top of it.
The roar of approval from the audience was tremendous when Gord finished singing.
(Photos and Video by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)