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.

Feature Article: Neko Case - The Saloon Side of Country

Feature Article: Neko Case - The Saloon Side of Country
There’s a gulf in country music as wide as the Grand Canyon. On one side is a shopping mall, full of cowboy hats, sequins and schlocky songs with a well-polished sheen. On the other is a saloon, with soaring voices, twanging guitars and songs gutsy enough to shake the shingles loose. Neko Case resides on the saloon side of country. Over the course of three impassioned studio albums and countless tours of rowdy barrooms, Case has blazed a trail across North America that left fans awestruck and critics breathlessly drawing comparisons to Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. Now Case has made an album that captures the unbridled emotion of her live shows. Recorded in three different venues, including ...
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Cover Story: John Mayer - Destination Wonderland

Cover Story: John Mayer - Destination Wonderland
Boyish John Mayer bursts into the hotel room like the Sundance Kid, crouching down with pretend guns a-blazing. The cocky, playfully combative pose befits the U.S. singer-songwriter who, at 26, is already at the top of his game and riding high on newfound fame. So far, Mayer has enjoyed multi-platinum sales for his Rooms for Squares album and then saw his current album, Heavier Things, debut at number one. Meanwhile, there’s a Grammy Award on Mayer’s mantle, which he won for “Your Body is a Wonderland,” beating out his idol, Sting, and one of his biggest supporters, Elton John. Now, after opening for Sting’s European spring dates, Mayer is headlining his own major North American tour—one of ...
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Cover Story: The Solid Gold, Super Fly Destiny of Beyoncé

Cover Story: The Solid Gold, Super Fly Destiny of Beyoncé
She’s young, gifted and black. She’s also devout, hard-working and extremely fly. As Destiny’s Child’s frontwoman and solo singer-turned actress, Knowles boasts a wealth of attributes (including bootylicious, a term she popularized and now defines) that have helped to place the Houston native well on the road to one-name multimedia stardom. Already, she’s a fast-rising screen actress, thanks to her credible work in Austin Powers in Goldmember and The Fighting Temptations, and a multiple Grammy winner as a member of Destiny’s Child. But her ambitions go much further. “I want to be the first black woman to win an Oscar, a Tony and a Grammy,” says the 22-year-old Beyoncé. “I already have three ...
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Feature Article: The Weakerthans - music for the people

Feature Article: The Weakerthans - music for the people
The crowded riders’ restlessness enunciates that  the Guess Who suck, the Jets were lousy anyway… our Golden Business Boy will watch the North End die,  and sing “I love this town,” then let his arcing wrecking ball proclaim,  “I hate Winnipeg.”   “One Great City!” Lyrics by John K. Samson Music by the Weakerthans An alienation ballad? A protest song about duplicitous urban redevelopment? A poison-pen letter to Winnipeg’s tourism office? The Weakerthans’ “One Great City!” is all that and more. Taken from the Winnipeg band’s third album, Reconstruction Site , the folky number—with its references to gray, bitterly cold winter days and stalled cars in turning lanes—is set in...
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Lhasa

Lhasa
She ran away to join the circus. Although she’d been signed to prestigious Atlantic Records and was being touted as an Edith Piaf for the new millennium, Lhasa de Sela turned her back on the music business. Ultimately, the runaway success of her first album, La Llorona , a stunning collection of stylized Mexican ballads and European gypsy tunes all sung in Spanish, proved to be too much for her. “I needed to get away from it for a while,” explains de Sela. “I’d been touring constantly for two years and getting offers to do these amazing gigs all over the world.  But I got badly burnt out and started experiencing these intense feelings of anxiety. I just finally had to say no to everythi...
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Feature Article: Daniel Lanois' shining pedal steel sound

Feature Article: Daniel Lanois' shining pedal steel sound
“I have wandered far and wide,” Daniel Lanois sings on the title track to his latest album, “all the way from Paris to Mexico.” The nomadic movements of Canada’s most acclaimed producer are the stuff of legend. After leaving Hamilton, Ont. in the early 1980s to work with U2 in a Dublin castle, Lanois has made a habit out of recording in unusual and far-flung settings: from a dairy barn in Somerset, England to a former porn theatre in southern California. For 10 years, he conducted much of his production work in an ancient, sprawling mansion in New Orleans. Even then, he championed the idea of portable studios and often took equipment with him on the road. Now, Lanois has returned from a year...
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Feature Article: The White Stripes - A Seven Nation Army Couldn't Hold Them Back

Feature Article: The White Stripes - A Seven Nation Army Couldn't Hold Them Back
Mention the White Stripes and most people think of garage-rock revival groups like the Strokes and the Hives. True, the Detroit duo does owe something to the raw, three-chord tradition of 1960s’ classics like “Louie Louie” and “Wild Thing.” But the group’s tastes run much deeper, all the way back to blues artists like Son House and Blind Willie McTell, prompting some critics to describe them as a mutant blues band. Fact is, singer-guitarist Jack White and his ex-wife drummer Meg White are art-rockers—not of the King Crimson variety, but of the modernist aesthetic sort. From their name, taken from the peppermint candy and symbolizing childhood and innocence, to their use of simple musical for...
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