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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: Van Morrison - A Sense of Wonder

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A mystical master of Gaelic rhythm and blues, Van Morrison has for more than 20 years served up musical puzzles to which he has offered no answers. But on A Sense of Wonder , his first album since Warner Brothers, his long-time label, reportedly dropped him, the Irish-born singer has stopped asking questions altogether. The result is lacklustre music with none of Morrison’s usual gut-wrenching soul. On the title track, Morrison contemplates nature’s beauty; with “Ancient of Days” and “The Master’s Eyes” he thanks the Creator for His generous ways; on the dirge-like “Let the Slave” he delivers the 18 th -century visionary poet William Blake’s “The Price of Experience” in rapid monotone. Only ...
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Music Review: Los Lobos - How Will the Wolf Survive?

LosLobos-Wolf
Like a ballroom orchestra high on amphetamines, the Los Angeles-based Chicano band Los Lobos conjures up contradictory, even comic, images when it is performing its frantic norteño music--an infectious hybrid of Mexican dance and German polka styles. How Will the Wolf Survive? , the quintet's refreshing debut album, opens with blistering rockabilly, and Cesar Rosas' gravelly vocals on "Don't Worry, Baby," and switches to a sweet country ballad in "A Matter of Time." On the carnival romp of "Corrida #1," David Hidalgo's speedy manipulation of his button accordion produces a euphoric, yodelling effect. Add some full-blooded rock 'n' roll in the style of Bo Diddley, one traditional Mexican...
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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...
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