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

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Musical Missions and Spiritual Highs

When Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performs, people get high. They break into tears, fall into trances and feel like they’re flying. They may even see God. It’s something the Pakistani singer’s proud of—actually it’s his mission in life. Yet Khan, who performs Sunday with his seven-member “Party” at Roy Thomson Hall, has nothing to do with drug-induced states of ecstasy. As the world’s leading performer of qawwali, the devotional music of Sufi Muslims, his approach is purely spiritual. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries. Sufi poems, praising Allah and his prophets to music, are sung in Urdu, Punjabi or the original Persian language. And a qawwali ...
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Lightfoot, Mitchell, Young and L.A.'s famed Troubadour nightclub

The Troubadour is one of the most storied venues in popular music. Beginning in 1961, owner Doug Weston ran the club, located in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard, as a showcase for folk and country artists. Later, it featured rock musicians as well. The Troubadour is where Elton John made his triumphant U.S. debut, where the Byrds, who met at a Monday open mic, first performed their classic take on Dylan’s “Tambourine Man,” where Buffalo Springfield made their live debut, where the Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey met in the front bar and where Led Zeppelin famously played with Fairport Convention in a three-hour jam session. But more than anything, the Troubadour became synonymous ...
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Michael Rose - Black Uhuru singer's Toronto roots

Charismatic reggae star Michael Rose’s Toronto connections run deep. Rose, Black Uhuru singer-songwriter in the group’s glory days of the early 1980s, wrote one of Uhuru’s best-loved songs, “Youth of Eglington (sic),” about a shooting incident that occurred in 1981 during one of his frequent Toronto visits. And the performer’s brother, Horace, owns Rap’s Place, a popular restaurant in the Jamaican neighbourhood around Oakwood and Eglinton. So it’s fitting that Rose, now a respected solo performer, should help launch Toronto’s newest reggae club, I-Beam (1 Robina Ave., east of Oakwood, off St. Clair) with a headline performance there Saturday. His appearance comes at a time when Black Uhuru i...
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