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: Hawksley Workman - Hawksley's Moxie

Feature Article: Hawksley Workman - Hawksley's Moxie
Is Hawksley Workman too good to be true? At 26, the Canadian singer-songwriter has already drawn comparisons to figures like David Bowie and Tom Waits—for two self-produced albums on which he wrote all the songs and played virtually every instrument. London's influential Time Out magazine has called him "quite possibly the coolest thing to come out of Canada." His performances—daring theatricality mixed with shameless romanticism—have elicited the sort of reviews usually reserved for rock royalty. Then there's his wildly improbable name. Is it something he lifted out of Dickens, or from an old travelling medicine show? Until recently, Workman wasn't saying. He first popped up in 1999 with hi...
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Feature Article: Cowboy Junkies take the indie route

Feature Article: Cowboy Junkies take the indie route
It's nearly impossible to imagine Margo Timmins as a bad-tempered diva. The angel-voiced singer of Canada's Cowboy Junkies has always been a point of calm in the stormy world of rock 'n' roll, a soothing balm amid so much angst, rage and excess. But three years ago, even the ever-gracious Timmins began to lose her cool. The Junkies had just released their eighth album, Miles from Our Home , and she and her bandmates felt it wasn't getting the marketing support it deserved from its U.S. label, Geffen Records. During a flight to Los Angeles, Timmins finally expressed her festering frustration to her brother Michael, the band's guitarist and songwriter. "I was ready to quit," Margo recalls. "De...
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Feature Article: The New Romantics - Ron Sexsmith and Rufus Wainwright

Feature Article: The New Romantics - Ron Sexsmith and Rufus Wainwright
They are the sensitive boys of Canadian pop. Both are acclaimed singer-songwriters, and both are unabashedly emotional. One is gay, with an impeccable musical pedigree, while the other, a father of two, has some of rock's biggest stars singing his praises. And -- surprise, surprise -- both are closest to their mothers. They may not seem like groundbreakers, but Rufus Wainwright and Ron Sexsmith are creating a seismic shift in pop music, bringing tender songs from a male point of view back into the mainstream. Until recently, solo artists were almost all women. While record labels scrambled to find the next Fiona Apple or Joan Osborne, male singer-songwriters couldn't get a break. The reverse...
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Feature Article: The Beatles - Band on a Run

Feature Article: The Beatles - Band on a Run
They sat in a box for 30 years, intimate photographs of the Beatles taken during the group's retreat in India in early 1968. Toronto filmmaker Paul Saltzman, then a backpacking 24-year-old on a spiritual quest himself, had snapped the pictures at a transcendental meditation workshop in the Indian village of Rishikesh led by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. After returning to Canada later that year, Saltzman sold some of the shots, along with an account of his "life-changing" experience, to Maclean's . But after that, he rarely thought about the photos, although he did return to the subcontinent many times. Then, two years ago, Devyani, Saltzman's teenage daughter from his marriage to film director...
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Feature Article: Our gal in Havana: Canada's Jane Bunnett celebrates Cuban sounds

Feature Article: Our gal in Havana: Canada's Jane Bunnett celebrates Cuban sounds
She's been called "Havana Jane," and Canada's Jane Bunnett has certainly earned the title. The celebrated jazz flutist and soprano saxophonist has been a familiar face around the Cuban capital for years. Long before Ry Cooder made the Buena Vista Social Club a household name, Bunnett was sharing her passion for Latin music with North American audiences, taking Cuban artists on tour and featuring them on acclaimed albums of her own. But it wasn't until last November that the Toronto musician discovered the extent of her reputation as Canada's unofficial cultural ambassador. Bunnett had travelled back to Havana with her husband, trumpeter Larry Cramer, and a National Film Board crew, to realiz...
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Feature Article: Guess Who's Reborn?

Feature Article: Guess Who's Reborn?
One of Canada's most successful bands is enjoying a new vogue -- and hitting the road once again  On an early May afternoon, on the eastern outskirts of Winnipeg, a spring ritual is under way. Like bears emerging from hibernation, some grey-haired men step out to play their first round of golf of the year. Teeing off under a warm sun, the golfers are oblivious to another ritual taking place nearby. Inside the Transcona Country Club, members of the Canadian rock legend the Guess Who are running through the familiar chords of such classic songs as Undun and American Woman. The original lineup of the group -- middle-aged and reunited for the first time in 17 years for a national tour that ...
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Feature Article: The Tea Party - Tea for Tens of Thousands

Feature Article: The Tea Party - Tea for Tens of Thousands
It's a spectacular setting, even by Australia's breathtaking standards. Nestled in the Great Dividing Range, an hour's drive north of Sydney, lies Glenworth Valley. With its cloud-covered mountaintops, spring-fed creeks and lush, unspoiled woods and pastures, it resembles an impossibly idyllic scene from the movie Jurassic Park. More surreal was the sight of a rock festival there in late December. The two-day event, featuring more than 40 bands on five stages, proved a real success for the promoters and the 5,000 in attendance. Even an afternoon downpour on the second day failed to dampen spirits, as mud-splattered dancers moved to blues, techno and an Aussie brand of thrashing country music...
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