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The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Liner Notes: Valdy - The Best of Valdy

valdy bestofvaldyThere’s still something reassuring about Valdy’s voice. Like a big Cowichan sweater, the kind the singer used to favour back in the 1970s, its sound envelops with a warm, fuzzy idealism that tells you all is right with the world—even if it isn’t.

That, of course, was Valdy’s secret. He was a master illusionist, a city boy who made us believe him a country man and, best trick of all, a complex guy who preached the simple life. Make no mistake: his heart was in the right place, but Valdy was “more of a manipulator than a singer or a songwriter,” as his manager candidly put it. He wanted to make us feel good and, for much of the ’70s, he did.

Once touted as the heir to Gordon Lightfoot, Valdy was that rare breed of artist who, like Stan Rogers or Stompin’ Tom Connors, got under our skins with songs that seemed to spring straight out of Canadian soil. At a time when people dreamed of getting back to the land, Valdy personified that ideal for individuals trapped in school or dead-end jobs. His five top-selling studio albums for A&M, all represented in this collection, reflect the rustic side of Canadian pop in the ’70s, acoustic alternatives to April Wine or Bachman-Turner Overdrive that stil

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Liner Notes: Max Webster - The Best of Max Webster

Liner Notes: Max Webster - The Best of Max Webster
Max Webster, in its heyday during the mid-to-late 1970s, was a sight to behold. The wildly attired foursome led by singer-guitarist Kim Mitchell, a hyperactive beanpole who regularly drew comparisons to crazed animals and aliens, looked more like a futuristic circus act than a rock band. Merry minstrels with a mutant twist. The sound of the band was equally impressive. An anarchic blend of heavy metal and progressive rock, featuring both piercing guitar solos and dreamy keyboard sequences, it was party music for thinking people. Rather than clichés for drunks, the band’s lyrics—written by the group’s offstage conceptualist, Pye Dubois—dealt with themes of tortured anxiety and sensual escape....
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Liner Notes: Stompin' Tom Connors - Stompin’ Tom Sings Canadian History

If nationhood is a peoples’ sense of their past, then Stompin’ Tom Connors has contributed greatly to our national identity with his backward-glancing songs. Whether it’s courageous cowpunchers, ghostly shipwreck sites or bold mainland-linking bridges, Stompin’ Tom has sung about this country’s people, places and things with incomparable passion and conviction. Entertaining and instructive, he reminds us of familiar characters and events from our past while rescuing from obscurity some that never showed up on our collective radar screen in the first place. That takes genius. No wonder they gave him an honorary doctorate. Dr. Tom’s historical songs, the best of which are collected here, neatl...
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