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.

Cover Story: Canadian Rock Music Explodes

Cover Story: Canadian Rock Music Explodes

With his straggly, shoulder-length hair, torn blue jeans and red sneakers, Greig Nori doesn’t look like the sort of man to be wined and dined in elegant restaurants by smooth-talking business executives. But Nori, who is in his late 20s, is a singer-guitarist in a band called treble charger, one of the hottest new acts in Canada. And several major record companies have been vigorously courting the group for the past year with a series of lucrative contract offers. Although flattered by the attention, treble charger shocked many in the record industry last month by turning down all the big-league offers. It chose instead to continue releasing albums on its own Smokin’ Worm Records, the company the band created in 1993 for its acclaimed debut, NC17. Distribution will be handled by another tiny label, Hamilton’s Sonic Unyon. "Sure, a record deal may be every kid’s dream," says Nori, who is originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. "But we felt confident enough that we’re better off on our own."

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Feature Article: Joni Mitchell - Lady of the Canyon

Feature Article: Joni Mitchell - Lady of the Canyon
For Joni Mitchell, fame has been a fickle lover. In the 1970s, it lavished her with sold-out tours and numerous magazine covers. She was the poetic, soul-baring artist from Canada who had taken up residence in the hills of California, becoming rock's lady of the canyon. But before the decade was over, Mitchell also felt the sting of rejection. Her jazzier, more abstract albums left many critics mystified. With little or no radio airplay, they sold poorly. Mitchell responded by abandoning the tour circuit. And, despite her three strong albums in the 1980s, her work was still being unfavorably compared with her early successes. "The pop arena is a harsh world, really," says Mitchell. "It moves...
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The aboriginal beat

It seemed a blues night like any other: a smoky room, beer in abundance and a packed dance floor. But the event last month, sponsored by the Toronto Blues Society, had a unique twist. Titled Real Rez Blues, it was a showcase of U.S. and Canadian aboriginal performers, all with a penchant for the classic, 12-bar form. Five acts appeared before the mostly native crowd of more than 800, including headliner Murray Porter, one of native music's rising stars. A baritone reminiscent of rhythm-and-blues great Percy Sledge, Porter thrilled the audience with his gritty versions of B. B. King and Big Joe Turner tunes. But when he sang his own 1492 Who Found Who, about Christopher Columbus, the Mohawk m...
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