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 Review: John Prine - The Tree of Forgiveness

One of America’s finest singer-songwriters (Johnny Cash, Bette Midler and Bob Dylan have all covered him), the Chicago native specializes in razor-sharp observations of ordinary lives. Dylan once said of him: "Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. All that stuff about Sam Stone, the soldier junky daddy, and Donald and Lydia, where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that. " Prine's first album of new songs in 13 years is full of such gems, including “Knocking on Your Screen Door,” and a wry look at the afterlife, “When I Get to Heaven.” It's a heartfelt collection about the search for meaning in everyd...
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Music Review: John Prine & Steve Goodman - German Afternoon and Unfinished Business

Folksingers, the troubadours who inhabited so many coffeehouses and festivals two decades ago, had become an endangered species by the early 1980s. But recently, as rock returned to its roots, folk music has quietly staged a comeback—through adventurous festivals and such popular artists as Suzanne Vega and the punk-influenced Billy Bragg and Michelle Shocked. Two singer-songwriters who have influenced the new wave of folk, John Prine and Steve Goodman, have new recordings out on Edmonton’s Stony Plain label. Their albums reveal the source of folk’s strength: songs of intimacy and insight.Goodman, who died in 1984 after a long battle with leukemia, and Prine, Goodman’s close friend, rank amo...
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Feature Article: Elvis Costello - Elvis Goes North

My editor thinks Elvis Costello’s latest album, North, is a lot like Frank Sinatra’s 1954 classic In the Wee Small Hours. He’s right: both recordings are intimate explorations of emotional loss and the rush of new romance. On top of that, the string-backed piano ballads pack an immediate, visceral punch despite their spare instrumentation. When Costello calls, I mention the comparison. “That’s very flattering,” he says from the back of a limousine speeding along the Autobahn somewhere between Berlin and Hamburg. “Sinatra’s album is a masterpiece.” Then he brings up the Diana Krall factor: “People have made assumptions based on changes in my life that the appearance of quiet sounds,...
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