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.

Liner Notes: Bruce Cockburn - Rumours of Glory box set

Liner Notes: Bruce Cockburn - Rumours of Glory box set
In his illuminating memoir, also called Rumours of Glory , Bruce Cockburn writes: “My songs are influenced by what I read, where I travel and what I witness.” He adds: They’re not just about spirituality or “war, injustice and exploitation,” but “derive from life itself.” If life is his inspiration, then Cockburn’s has certainly been rich, judging by the 130 songs in this box set. Written over nearly 50 years, with the earliest recording being 1966’s “Bird Without Wings,” they range from spiritual quests and romantic ballads to prickly protests and engaging travelogues drawn from first-hand experiences on five continents. Together, they form an enlightening audio companion to the memoir. It’...
Continue reading
1687 Hits

Liner Notes: Gordon Lightfoot - Harmony

It’s not surprising that Gordon Lightfoot’s latest album—the 20 th of a long and illustrious career—is also his most reflective. After all, Lightfoot has looked death squarely in the eye, having fought his way back from an abdominal hemorrhage in September 2002 that very nearly killed him. Nothing like a brush with the Grim Reaper to put things in perspective. The songs gathered here revisit many of the themes familiar to fans of Lightfoot’s best work: travel, nature, loneliness and love in all of its many forms. The eerie “Flying Blind” places a northern pilot in peril as he tries to land amid oil rigs, ice caps and polar bears. The stirring “River of Light” conjures up bucolic visions of m...
Continue reading
1845 Hits

Liner Notes: Sattalites - The Best of Canadian Reggae

Rare is the band that survives the challenges of constant touring, recording and inevitable membership changes. Rarer still is the group that keeps improving, consistently honing its craft and polishing its sound. The Sattalites have achieved that remarkable feat over the course of 30 years, establishing themselves along the way as one of the world's premier reggae acts. Built on the foundational talents of Jo Jo Bennett and Fergus Hambleton, the Sattalites have forged a fresh, vital sound that blends stirring roots reggae with thrilling harmonic pop. This collection represents all sides of the Sattalite sound, from the bubbling joy of "Wild" to the horn-driven ride of "Sunroof." Two can mak...
Continue reading
Tags:
1542 Hits

Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Avenue Road

Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Avenue Road
The Summer of Love gave the world the Monterey Pop Festival and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper . Ultimately, those precious months in 1967 produced something far greater: the full flowering of the hippie movement and a sense of cultural, social and political barricades coming down. Change was in the air. The seeds were sown at the Human Be-In in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and quickly spread to most major cities in the western world. In Toronto, the May Love-In at Queen’s Park attracted a crowd of barefooted flower children who danced to Buffy Sainte-Marie and Leonard Cohen under a thick cloud of marijuana smoke. That same month, three musicians from Yorkville, Toronto’s hippie village, gathe...
Continue reading
2205 Hits

Liner Notes: Gryphon Trio with Patricia O'Callaghan-Broken Hearts & Madmen

Gryphon Trio-Broken Hearts & MadmenThe most adventurous sounds are those that defy restrictive labels and easy categorization. Eclecticism has long been a mainstay of the jazz and pop worlds, where experimentation is encouraged and celebrated. But chamber music, with its roots in specific classical repertoire, has often been limited by advocates intent on simply keeping old traditions alive. Canada’s Gryphon Trio, one of North America’s top chamber ensembles, is committed to changing that.

Formed in 1993, the Trio—cellist Roman Borys, pianist Jamie Parker and violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon—began pushing the boundaries for chamber music by commissioning and performing new works from both established and emerging composers. Its multimedia production of Christos Hatzis’s Constantinople, took the Gryphons deep into cross-cultural terrain. Set at the crossroads of East and West, Constantinople brought the Trio together with Arabic singer Maryem Hassan Tollar and soprano Patricia O’Callaghan in acclaimed performances across North America and at London’s Royal Opera

Continue reading
2085 Hits

Liner Notes: Paul Quarrington - The Songs

quarringtonIt’s the inevitable fate of a multi-faceted artist as ridiculously talented as Paul Quarrington that one creative field should overshadow the others. In Paul’s case, his musical career was rudely hijacked by his literary success. Long before the awards for fiction, humour and screenplays, Paul was a musician—and an extremely good one. He played bass and sang in the eccentric cult-rock band Joe Hall & the Continental Drift, a band his guitarist brother Tony once described as “an acquired taste that no one acquired.” He wrote songs, played guitar and sang with lifelong friend Martin Worthy in the underrated folk duo Quarrington Worthy—even scoring a number one hit in 1980 with “Baby and the Blues.” Most recently, he fronted Porkbelly Futures, a thinking-person’s bar band that plays a rootsy mix of country-blues, or what Paul liked to call “red-eyed soul.”
    Paul wrote some memorable material with the Porkbellies, songs like “Gladstone Hotel,” “Sweet Daddy,” “You Gotta Love a Train” and “Sad Old Love Affair,” all literate, hilarious and touching tales about life, boyhood heroes and the workings of the human heart. Music gave Paul a forum that was direct, succinct and visceral, and he loved the rush of performing and the immediate connection with his audience.

Continue reading
2315 Hits

Liner Notes: Adrian Miller – Rude Boy on the Bus

adrianmiller rudeboyFor some people, ska music died with the passing of Britain’s two-tone movement in the 1980s. But they only knew it as a post-punk dance craze anyway. As Jamaica’s peppy precursor to reggae, pioneered by legends like Jackie Mittoo, Don Drummond and Prince Buster, ska has a long and vibrant history whose influence still reverberates today.

In England, the ska banner was first held high by Desmond Dekker, a Jamaican singer whose songs “007 (Shanty Town)” and the classic “The Israelites” sent syncopated shock waves across radioland in the 1970s. By the end of the decade, ska was bubbling up big time in Old Blighty, with two-toners The Specials and The English Beat opening for the likes of Elvis Costello and The Clash.

Into those heady days stepped Adrian Miller, Mr. Rude Boy himself, a young Jamaican who found England’s music scene totally inspiring. “The whole climate was more experimental than what was going on back home,” recalls Miller. “There were older musicians like Saxa and Rico, who had first started doing ska back in Jamaica, playing with young groups like The Beat and The Specials. It was an amazing time.”

 

Continue reading
3926 Hits