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: Tarig Abubakar and the rise of African music in Toronto

On a cool June night in 1988, Tarig Abubakar found himself walking along a desolate highway near Montreal’s Mirabel Airport, a bewildered stranger in an even stranger land. The Sudanese-born musician had just arrived on a flight from the motherland seeking to start a new life in Canada. But, without a friend or relation to greet him, his luggage lost in transit and with only $10 in his pocket, he was a lost soul. Four Haitians spotted him—a weary black figure dressed in a disheveled white suit—and offered him a ride. When they learned his circumstances and that he had no destination, they took him to Ballatou, an African music club in downtown Montreal. Being English-speaking,...
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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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