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.

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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Celtic dreams

Celtic music performer Loreena McKennitt It was a ritual that ended up paying handsome dividends. Every Saturday for three years, Loreena McKennitt would rise before dawn, load her 50-lb. harp into the back of her beat-up Honda Civic and drive 150 km from her rented farmhouse in Stratford, Ont., to the St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto. There, McKennitt would find a spot amid the bustle of shoppers and shouting vendors. Her fiery red hair tumbling down over Elizabethan-style clothing, she sang ancient Celtic songs of mystery and romance to the ethereal strains of her instrument. The musician stopped more than a few passers-by dead in their tracks. And the appreciative ones tossed money...
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No More Class Clowns

Maclean's  August 22nd 1994 Barenaked Ladies - No more class clowns In a run-down warehouse in Toronto's west end, a film production company has spent the day trying to create a wet look for Jane, the latest video by the Barenaked Ladies. A giant screen provides a blue backdrop, and a machine spewing out clouds of smoke creates a murky underwater effect. Several large reflectors, meanwhile, give the impression of sunlight flickering beneath the water's surface. Ironically, a sudden downpour outside is making everything inside wetter than planned: rain is pouring through holes in the building's roof, forcing crew members to quickly cover equipment. Still, the filming proceeds, and each o...
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