Dugg Simpson, Artistic Director, Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Posted Jul 17, 1998

"At a time when many folks would be thinking more about their slippers and a chair by the fire, Roy continues to tour, to record and most importantly to sing songs that must be sung. For four decades, he has been using his heart and his voice as tools to bring people together and remind us all that we are part of something bigger. Over the years his voice has aged like good wine, but it has never lost the directness and honesty that are a hall-mark of everything he has recorded. He remains a vital artist - his voice still rings with compassion and anger, qualities all too rare in many of his younger contemporaries.

His repertoire embraces songs of resistance and celebration. Lately, it has even come to include Child Ballads - a choice of material that could be viewed as yet another act of resistance in an era of disposable culture. He is always acquiring new songs in his travels, not unlike the troubadours of old, bringing news of what people are singing about to each new circle of friends. He chooses new songs "because they are addressing things that affect me" which remains a pretty good reason for singing, on stage or off."