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.

Music Feature: Expeditions to pop's global village

On Naked, the latest album by rock’s influential New York City-based Talking Heads, leader David Byrne sings: “’Round and ’round and we won’t let go/And where we stop no one knows.” The song is “Ruby Dear,” and Byrne could well be referring to the new disc’s musical tour around the world. Recorded in Paris with a crew of international musicians, Naked reflects pop’s global village, where Congolese guitars meet Latin-style horns and ancient Middle Eastern melodies play off modern Western synthesizers. The result is one of the band’s best recordings. And by crossing a number of cultural boundaries, Naked signals a strong new trend toward international pop.Rock music ha...
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Music Review: Maturing musically

When Bob Dylan first plugged in his guitar and strummed an electrified chord, the guru of 1960s folk music sent shock waves through the ranks of his followers. But Dylan, like his Canadian peers Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, was merely moving with the times. While the rock and jazz directions that Young and Mitchell pursued led them to stardom and an enviable international audience, other Canadian singer-songwriters of that decade stayed home to improve their performing and recording skills. Recent albums by four of those artists —Murray McLauchlan, Ann Mortifee, Mendelson Joe and David Wilcox—demonstrate that it is possible to survive the fickle shifts of pop music with one’s craft intact.S...
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Music Feature: The sonic balm of Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Now that the turmoil of recent times has passed, Joseph Shabalala can look back fondly on those halcyon days nearly 10 years ago when his group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, first joined Paul Simon on tour.The South African vocal ensemble had sung two songs with Simon on his critically acclaimed Graceland album, but those had been in English. And Shabalala wasnt sure how audiences would respond to his group's Zulu material."It was a real culture shockk when we stepped onstage," admitted the modest, soft-spoken singer, during a tour stop outside Chicago. "I was so worried that people would be discouraged by our language."The shock was, of course, they weren't. From the moment audiences ...
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