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The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Blog Post: Gordon Lightfoot and Massey Hall

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No single artist is more closely connected to Massey Hall than Gordon Lightfoot. Beginning in 1951 and ’52, as a pre-teen with his first place wins in two Kiwanis Festival singing competitions, Lightfoot has made over 165 appearances (and counting) on its hallowed stage. The Orillia native returned in ’55 with his Teen Timers quartet to take second prize in a barbershop singing contest. Lightfoot’s first concert as a featured singer-songwriter came in March 1967, which one critic described as a “country-and-Lightfoot parade of Canadiana.” Two years later, Canada’s folk star recorded his first live album there, Sunday Concert (his second was 2012’s All Live , drawn from material recorded at M...
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Music Review: Lily Allen - No Shame

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One of the brightest, most refreshingly original female singers to emerge from the UK in the last dozen years, Allen suffered several personal and professional setbacks, including her split from the father of her two daughters, a battle with substance abuse and the lukewarm response to her last album, 2014’s Sheezus . Allen has also been given a rough ride by the British tabloid press. But her’s fourth album is a triumphant comeback in which the 33-year-old “Smile” singer has taken control of her story with starkly honest confessional songs. On “Apples,” she sings quietly over a simple keyboard riff about how her breakup with her husband mirrors her parents’ divorce. And she tackles her bad ...
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Music Review: Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson - Apart

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This five-song EP is the second recording collaboration between the indie rocker and the Hollywood actress, following their 2009 album Break Up . That album, according to Yorn, dealt with “an unraveling relationship,” while Apart  deals with what he describes as the love affair’s “aftermath.” Johansson, who released an album of Tom Waits covers with 2008’s Anywhere I Lay My Head , duets with Yorn on the Fleetwood Mac-like “Bad Dreams” and the chiming “Iguana Bird.” “It is always a pleasure to sing with Yorn,” says Johansson, “because our voices and stories complement each other.” Indeed they do. The dreamy “Movies” is a perfect example of the sensuous weave of their vocals over a moody,...
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