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.

Junior Kimbrough - You Better Run

The cotton-patch blues of the late Mississippi bluesman Junior Kimbrough are deeply disturbing. Full of exhortations of a violent and sexual nature, they speak of primal urges and human failings. Played over repetitive one-chord grooves, songs like “Release Me” echo droning, hypnotic Malian music, while “Done Got Old” has a plaintive simplicity. But nothing on this retrospective prepares for the harrowing title track, which begins as a tale of rape and ends as a love story. Mean blues, yes, but blues with meaning.
473 Hits

Wide Mouth Mason - Rained Out Parade

Canadian diversity at its best—guitarist Shaun Verreault is French-Canadian, bassist Earl Pereira is from a Filipino family and drummer Safwan Javed is of Pakistani descent—Wide Mouth Mason continues to defy expectations. On its fourth album, the prairie band comes up with surprising twists on its blues-rock sound. A tabla leads into the swinging “Reconsider,” while “Dry You Up” is raw, Weezer-like power pop. And “Lagavulin” is a hilarious stoner’s confession. No wonder they’re the pride of Saskatoon.
473 Hits

Joan Osborne - How Sweet It Is

This could be Osborne’s year. The singer, best known for the 1995 hit “One of Us,” is releasing a new album on her own record label and is launching a Lilith Fair-style women’s music festival. She is also recording a tribute album for Sister Rosetta Tharpe and is making her film debut in the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown .  Her label and festival will each be called Womanly Hips, as in “all good things come from womanly hips.” She promises “joyful music for these disturbing times.”
489 Hits

Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head

Any band experiencing the hype that greeted Coldplay’s debut album, Parachutes , and the ubiquitous airplay that its dreamy single “Yellow” received must surely dread the sophomore jinx. But if the Britpop quartet group’s members are afraid of becoming one-hit wonders, they aren’t showing it. According to their website, the band is “on the verge of realizing their most high-spirited artistic ambitions.” With song titles like “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face,” perhaps Coldplay is hoping for divine intervention.
435 Hits

Neko Case - Black Listed

Everything alt-country’s torchiest singer touches turns to gold, from her charming Corn Sisters duo with Carolyn Mark and her membership in power-pop’s wondrous New Pornographers to her own captivating solo albums. Although born in Virginia, Case spent her formative musical years in Vancouver, which makes her at least an honorary Canuck. And it means we can call her latest one of the best Canadian albums of the year, full of spooky ballads and beguiling waltzes sung in a voice that could melt glaciers.
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1081 Hits

Bruce Springsteen - The Rising

Springsteen’s label has no news about it, but my reliable Bruce freak source reports that this promises to be grander than most Boss recordings, full of lush strings, gospel vocals and songs that tackle Big Issues. Recorded with the E Street Band and producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Neil Young), the album will include one epic (“Into the Fire”) about firefighters entering the World Trade Center on 9/11. It also coincides with a release by Philly hard-rockers Marah, featuring a Springsteen guest appearance.
481 Hits

The Rascalz - ReLoaded

Hip-hop crew the Rascalz enjoyed a taste of the pop charts with “Top of the World,” featuring Jamaica’s Barrington Levy. This time around, the Vancouver rappers are employing the same radio-friendly approach, mixing rock and reggae influences into their sound, but relying more on Canadian guests like k-os, who lends his distinctive vocals to “One Shot.” Says the Rascalz’ Red 1: “We’re at the level now where we don’t really need to go across the border because there’s a bunch of wicked MCs in Canada.”
652 Hits