By Mike Anderson

Despite a frigid winter night, people filled almost every pew in the Virginia United Church on Saturday night, eager to hear the critically acclaimed Canadian country singer-songwriter Zachary Lucky.

Lucky, who hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but now lives in Orillia, treated the audience to two sets, including some new material, which he previewed for the first time before its release in early February.

Wearing his trademark cowboy hat, blue jeans, and cowboy boots and playing an acoustic guitar, Lucky looked every bit like a country crooner, even stomping out the time signature of each song on the stage.

Still, he divulged a secret to the audience: he thinks of himself as more of a folk singer than a country singer.

But “the hat fits” he joked, tilting his cowboy hat to the crowd.

Actually, you won’t find many references to pickup trucks, prisons, or getting drunk in Lucky’s lyrics. His songs are more ethereal and often deal with love, longing, and the nostalgia we have for the past.

Lucky brought his prairie charm to the intimate church setting, prefacing most songs with a humorous story.

He even got a laugh when he admitted that he was a little nervous standing on the church sanctuary, in front of a large cross — explaining that while his mother was a churchgoer, he preferred to hang out with his father at the local drag strip on Sundays.

But it was his husky, baritone voice, delivered without amplification and supported by the church’s beautiful acoustics, that made his performance so memorable, each heartfelt song drawing loud applause.

He began the show with a toe-tapper and crowd-pleaser, Everywhere A Man Can Be, an ode to Canada and its vast beauty.

Other songs, Sunday Morning at the Drag Strip and No Shame In Working Hard, were poignant tributes to his father and showed a deep respect for those who struggle to make a living.

One of the more touching songs, Raining in December, from this 2019 album Midwestern, dealt with the sadness of parting – from the people and the places we love.

Several songs, like Hang Me, Oh Hang Me, and I Wish I Was A Mole in the Ground, were from his latest album, Songs For Hard Times (2021), written during the covid lockdowns. Lucky joked that songs about hard times aren’t always popular, especially after a pandemic.

Zachary Lucky performs at the Virginia United Church on January 20
Zachary with Matthew before the show

Lucky is the third act Matthew Large has brought to the Virginia United Church, 28280 Highway 48, as part of his Cedar Hedge Music Series.

Large, who has been part of the bluegrass and folk music scene in Canada for more than three decades, is trying to bring top-notch performers to Georgina and hopes, in his words, to “build a community through music.”

Judging from the audience, he is succeeding. During the break, everyone went downstairs for hot tea, some conviviality and an opportunity to chat with the artist.

Bill Major lives in Port Bolster and has come to every show. He loves the music and says the ticket price is affordable for most people.

“It’s great,” he said. “Matthew is bringing in some unique talent. And I’m glad he has organized this music series to help our community get together.”

“Many of us appreciate music and probably wouldn’t see each other otherwise. So I think this series is helping build community in Georgina.”

The next performance is by the Canadian folk and Celtic music group, Allison Lupton Trio, on Sat, Feb 17, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Email Matthew to purchase tickets at

For more information about Zachary Lucky, including tour dates, visit his website: You can also find his music on Spotify.