Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

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Music Review: Drake - More Life

Music Review: Drake - More Life
Drake’s Views sold more than any recording last year. Like much of his music, the album—right down to its cover photo of him sitting atop the CN Tower—was an homage to his hometown of Toronto. The “Hotline Bling” singer’s latest recording (which he calls a “playlist”) is full of references and guests from his beloved “6.” But the collection of 22 songs, with a recorded voicemail from his mother, Sandi Graham, and a retro cover photo of his dad, Dennis Graham, casts its musical net further afield, drawing from across the African diaspora. The playlist’s title is a Jamaican expression of encouragement and there’s a strong Caribbean vibe. Two tracks feature Atlanta rapper Young Thug, while the ...
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Blog Post: Jonathan Roy - Skating to Stardom

Blog Post: Jonathan Roy - Skating to Stardom
His father is hockey legend Patrick Roy, the Stanley Cup winning the goalie for the Montreal Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche. And Jonathan seemed destined to follow in his father’s skates—until he caught the music bug. First he appeared as one of the leads in a theatrical production of Don Juan and then fell under the spell of artists like John Mayer. But everything changed for Jonathan when his dad introduced him in 2013 to music icon Corey Hart, who he says inspired him to become a “deeper, more versatile musician.” The “Sunglasses at Night” singer signed him to his Siena Records label and began collaborating with him in the studio. Last year, Jonathan saw two of his songs, the breezy...
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Blog Post: Whitney Rose - Northern Sweetheart, Southern Twang

Blog Post: Whitney Rose - Northern Sweetheart, Southern Twang
Her roots are in P.E.I., but Whitney Rose is blooming in Texas. Growing up, Whitney hung around her grandparents’ Charlottetown bar, listening to Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline on the jukebox. In 2011, she moved to Toronto, anxious to begin singing her own country songs. Everything changed when Whitney teamed up with Mavericks’ frontman Raul Malo, who produced her acclaimed Heartbreaker of the Year album and sang with her on a sweet cover of the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.” Restless to dig deeper into classic country, Whitney packed her cowgirl hat and boots and relocated to Austin in 2015. “As soon as I moved there,” she says, “I fell in love with watching people dance.” She added: “Austin’s such ...
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Music Feature: Leon Redbone - The Cult of Redbone

Music Feature: Leon Redbone - The Cult of Redbone
For more than 25 years, Leon Redbone has been conjuring up the past with his Roaring Twenties show tunes and turn-of-the-century minstrel ditties. Wearing his trademark fedora and Groucho Marx moustache, he became a fixture on TV’s Saturday Night Live   and The Tonight Show   with Johnny Carson during the 1970s and ‘80s, when he attracted legions of fans and supporters, from Bonnie Raitt and Maria Muldaur to Tom Waits and Dr. John.  Another admirer, Bob Dylan, once told   Rolling Stone   magazine that if he ever formed his own record label, Leon Redbone would be his first signing. Now Dylan has complimented him again: several songs on Dylan’s latest album, the fine, ...
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Blog Post: Nick's Picks - The Best Albums of 2016

Blog Post: Nick's Picks - The Best Albums of 2016
A selection of 2016's finest recordings, in no particular order: Radiohead  A Moon Shaped Pool - How can something so harrowing sound so sweet? Rich in symphonic and folky lushness, it’s big, beautiful and a little nightmarish. Beyoncé  Lemonade - With profound and touching songs about family ties, racial pride and female strength, Beyoncé makes a powerful personal statement and her career-defining album. David Bowie Blackstar - Bowie’s swan song, a trippy, jazz-infused art rock album that includes the shape-shifting, apocalyptic title track. Solange  A Seat at the Table - A stunning accomplishment for Beyoncé’s once-overshadowed sister: a gorgeous album that is both political...
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Music Feature: Annie Lennox - The First Lady

Music Feature: Annie Lennox - The First Lady
When I first met her, she spoke in a whisper, protecting the gold-plated vocal cords that had made Eurythmics one of the top musical acts on the planet. Annie Lennox was staying in a quiet residential neighborhood near West Hollywood, while she and Eurythmic Dave Stewart rehearsed for the band’s Revenge tour. It was the summer of ’86 and Lennox looked every bit the striking pop icon, one whose theatrical, gender-bending and diva-vamping appearances had transformed the pop landscape. Dressed in a pink satin blouse and a brightly colored plaid suit, a variation on her native Scottish tartan, she spoke at length about music, image and Eurythmics’ battle for artistic control. Fast forward more t...
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Music Feature: John Legend - Mr. Legend Comes to Town

Music Feature: John Legend - Mr. Legend Comes to Town
It’s a muggy day and John Legend is trying his best to stay cool. The gifted American soul singer is in a Toronto Baptist church for a photo shoot and it’s proving to be one serious sweat-fest. Between costume changes and impromptu performances on an electric piano, Legend towels off and stations himself next to an industrial-sized electric fan. He doesn’t mind being a clothes horse, especially when the wardrobe’s supplied by Hugo Boss, but the wool trousers and vest are almost unbearably hot. Still, it’s all in a day’s work for the award-winning artist, who’s busy promoting his upcoming sophomore album. Sitting shirtless, looking handsome and buff, the 27-year-old Legend spoke about his chi...
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