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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Obituaries, Books

Bob Dylan's triumphant return to Massey Hall

A master of reinvention, Bob Dylan is never content to play a song the same way twice. Last night at Massey Hall, the self declared song-and-dance man entertained with interpretations of numbers drawn from his own back pages (with the exception of a Grateful Dead cover and an American Songbook standard) that rendered them virtually unrecognizable. Sometimes this was a thrilling novelty, with a hatted Dylan standing behind a grand piano and belting out a bluesy, saloon-style rendition of “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” like an less frenzied Jerry Lee Lewis. At other times, it was a frustrating mystery. Trying to identify a song by lyric wasn’t always possible because of Dylan’s chronic case of mu...
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A conversation with Sinéad O'Connor

In July 2005, I spoke with Sinéad O'Connor about her reggae album, Throw Down Your Arms, that she’d recorded in Jamaica with Sly and Robbie. There was a lot going on in the world at the time. Live 8, the series of anti-poverty benefit concerts organized by Bob Geldof on the 20th anniversary of Live Aid, had just taken place. The news cycle was filled with horrific stories about the suicide attacks by Islamic terrorists that killed 56 early-morning commuters on the London Tube. We talked about those events, as well as ganga, God and her decision never to revisit her pop past again.  But Sinéad was musically motivated—Throw Down Your Arms was her first recording since her t...
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Gordon Lightfoot: The Canadian bard wrote the tunes for a nation's identity

More than any other singer-songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot personified Canada. His robust songs about winter nights, morning rain, being bound for Alberta and sailing on Ontario’s Georgian Bay came closest to expressing for many Canadians the essence of life in the Great White North. Historical epics stood alongside romantic ballads. Author Pierre Berton once said that Lightfoot’s “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” conveyed as much about the building of the national railway as his own best-selling book on the subject. When Lightfoot died Monday evening at the age of 84, leaving a vast legacy of more than 500 songs, Canada lost a masterful composer, a distinctive vocalist and one of its ...
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