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.

Cover Story: Gordon Lightfoot - On Songwriting

Cover Story: Gordon Lightfoot - On Songwriting
On an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving, Gordon Lightfoot is in an uncharacteristically reflective mood, sipping coffee and looking back on a career that has produced every kind of song imaginable: historical epics, romantic ballads, sea shanties, country ditties, folk-style protests and bluesy “toe-tappers,” to use Lightfoot’s quaint term for his uptempo numbers. Many became hits; many more are considered iconic, as quintessentially Canadian as a Group of Seven painting or Alice Munro short story. To say that he’s been prolific is like saying the CN Tower looms over Toronto. Sitting in the kitchen of his sprawling home in North York’s exclusive Bridle Path neighborhood, the 75-year-old legend ...
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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...
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Gordon Lightfoot - All Live

Many fans have made pilgrimages to Toronto’s Massey Hall to attend the Canadian legend’s annual concerts. This album is a Lightfoot lover’s dream: 19 songs recorded in the hallowed hall between 1998-2001—exactly as they were performed. Includes such early classics as “Sundown” and later favorites like “A Painter Passing Through.”
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Feature Article: Riverboat Plaque Presentation

Riverboat Plaque Presentation June 18, 2009   On June 18, Heritage Toronto was joined by some of Canada's most notable musicians to commemorate famed Yorkville coffeehouse, the Riverboat.   Located in the narrow basement of a house at 134 Yorkville Ave, the Riverboat was opened in 1964 by Bernie Fiedler and became the best-known coffeehouse in Canada. Over its history, the Riverboat stage was graced by Canada's music elite, including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot. The Riverboat remained open until 1977, by which time it was the sole remaining coffeehouse in the area. A number of musicians who graced The Riverboat's stage during its illustrious life attended the eve...
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Various artists - Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot

A mixed bag, this Lightfoot love-in ranges from refreshing interpretations by Cowboy Junkies (a rocking “The Way I Feel”), Bruce Cockburn (a spooky “Ribbon of Darkness”) and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings (a stirring “Summer Side of Life”) to such weak or dated choices as “Go Go Round” (Blue Rodeo), “Bend in the River” (Harry Manx) and “Black Day in July” (the Tragically Hip). With Aengus Finnan’s paean joining the Guess Who’s early testimonial, at least two tribute songs now exist titled “Lightfoot.” Go Go Gord.
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Ranee Lee - Maple Groove: Songs from the Great Canadian Songbook

Along with k.d. lang’s Hymns from the 49th Parallel and the recent Gordon Lightfoot tribute album, Lee’s latest represents a new trend: singers mining vintage Canadian nuggets for repertoire. Lee casts songs by Randy Bachman, David Clayton-Thomas and others in a jazz setting—with surprising results. While her version of Lightfoot’s folky “If You Could Read My Mind” swings beautifully, her takes on jazzy pop numbers like Bachman’s “Undun” and Clayton-Thomas’ “Spinning Wheel” fall surprisingly flat.
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Foals - Antidotes

Frontman Yannis Philippakis’ previous band was called the Edmund Fitzgerald, but there’s nothing Lightfootish about Foals, a smart-rock outfit from Oxford, England, home of fellow braniacs Radiohead. Like America’s Vampire Weekend, Foals has a taste for African music—check out the rhythmic romance of “Red Sock Pugie” and the closing, anthemic “Tron,” featuring the horns of Afrobeat big band Antibalas. And the infectious “Cassius,” which references the fall of Rome, is guaranteed to dancefloors everywhere. Apr. 8   
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