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.

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Music Review: k.d. lang - Ingénue

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For fans who have always known that a serious singer lurked beneath k. d. lang's tongue-in-cheek country exterior, Ingénue is thrilling confirmation. Gone are the hoedown humor and country-punk affectations that characterized--and sometimes marred--her earlier style. A moody collection of ballads, Ingénue is steeped in the torch tradition of such singers as Julie London and Patsy Cline in her pop period. And the songs, written mostly by lang and fiddler Ben Mink, reveal a surprising vulnerability. On “The Mind of Love,” a tale of tortured romance, lang asks herself, "where is your head Kathryn/where is your head." And on “Save Me,” a shimmering ballad, her voice washes over the listener like...
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Music Review: Lori Yates - Breaking Point

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Lori Yates' country roots run deep--in Toronto's Queen Street music scene, not Nashville. So when CBS Records signed the singer and flew her down to Music City to record a debut album in 1989, it proved to be a mistake: Can't Stop the Girl not only took the girl our of the country, it also took the country--at least Yates' special brand of it--out of the girl. Five years later, the spirited singer finally gets the introduction she deserves with Breaking Point , a superb collection of rocking country and bluesy pop tunes written and performed with the cream of Queen Street talent. A gritty heartache number like "Make a Liar Out of Me," with backup vocals by Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy and guitaris...
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Toronto Songs: Neil Young's Ambulance Blues

Four-to-Go Neil Young (left) with Four to Go's Ken Koblum and Geordie McDonald
Neil Young returned to the city of his birth in 1965, determined to break into Toronto’s flourishing music scene. He’d arrived with his Winnipeg group, the Squires, but their new folk-rock sound fell on deaf ears. Even changing their name to Four to Go failed to make a difference. So Young parted ways with his bandmates and launched himself as a solo folksinger. Before leaving Winnipeg, Young had become enamored of Bob Dylan’s music and taught himself to play “Four Strong Winds,” Ian Tyson’s Canada-referencing response to “Blowin’ in the Wind.” He’d also encountered Joni Mitchell, who was performing at the Fourth Dimension coffeehouse with her husband. After the show, Young went up to Joni, ...
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