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.

Obituary: Mose Scarlett - Keeper of the Flame of Vintage Songs

Mose-11-smaller Photo by Paul Wright
Mose Scarlett specialized in songs from bygone eras – jazz, blues, ragtime and swing – and always dressed the part, neatly turned out in a three-piece suit and fedora or, more informally, a waistcoat and workingman’s flat cap. Within Canadian music, he was an anachronism, a performer cheerfully out of step with the times. But that was also a big part of his charm. Blessed with a deep, resonant singing voice and a self-taught, fingerpicking guitar style often described as stride, Mr. Scarlett was similarly old-fashioned in his personal demeanour. Bruce Cockburn, who met him in 1969 when he and his then future wife, Kitty, stayed at Mr. Scarlett’s apartment in Toronto’s east end, recalls being...
Continue reading
  110 Hits

Music Feature: Peter Tosh - The razor-sharp ring of truth

Peter Tosh
Reggae music, product of the shantytowns of Jamaica, has often echoed the turbulence of its Caribbean birthplace. When reggae star Peter Tosh, 42, was gunned down in his Kingston home on Sept. 11 during an attempted robbery, his murder added yet another violent chapter to the history of The Wailers, the celebrated band that Tosh and Bob Marley founded in 1963 with Bunny Livingstone. No Nuclear War (Capitol), a new collection of Tosh's protest songs, arrived in record stores just a few weeks before his death. Although none of the material matches the standard of "Get Up, Stand Up," the classic anthem Tosh coauthored with Marley, the album does serve as a fitting postscript to his provoca...
Continue reading
  13 Hits

Music Feature: The hypnotic pull of the reggae beat

Bunny Wailer Bunny Wailer - Photo by David Corio
When Bob Marley died of cancer at 36 in 1981, he received a burial more befitting a king than a musician. His funeral drew the largest crowds in Caribbean history. The Jamaican parliament recessed for 10 days of national mourning, having just awarded him an Order of Merit. As millions mourned the passing of reggae music’s first major star, music industry insiders predicted that reggae— with its bass-heavy beat and its lyrical links to the island’s mystical Rastafarian religion— would soon fade away. But the forecast was wrong. Despite the death of its leading practitioner and reggae’s continuing struggle for airplay on North American radio stations, its appeal keeps spreading. This summer, r...
Continue reading
  15 Hits