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.

Bobby Dean Blackburn - Deep blues and soulful highs

There are few personal histories as rich as Bobby Dean Blackburn’s. His musical legacy, which runs from the birth of rock ’n’ roll and rhythm & blues in Toronto through to his sons’ Juno-nominated blues band, Blackburn, is as long as Yonge Street itself.Bobby Dean’s ancestral story goes even deeper: his great-grandfather was a U.S. slave who found freedom in Canada on the Underground Railroad. For over half a century, he has paid tribute to that heritage with annual performances at Owen Sound’s Emancipation Festival.Now the veteran musician, who turns 80 later this year, plans to add to his lengthy list of accomplishments. Along with a double album of ballads and gospel songs on the hori...
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Leonard Cohen - The return of the modern troubadour

Leonard Cohen, hailed 20 years ago as Canada’s answer to Bob Dylan, had slipped into obscurity. It was the mid-1980s, and audiences seemed more interested in carefree pop music than in the modern-day troubadour’s philosophical, often bleak compositions. Then, Jennifer Warnes came along. The Los Angeles singer had begun performing Montreal-born Cohen’s material in 1969 and, later, toured with him as a backup vocalist. In 1986 she used her lush soprano voice to interpret a selection of his songs. The resulting album, Famous Blue Raincoat, sold more than 750,000 copies worldwide. And while that success brought Warnes major stardom, it has also helped rejuvenate Cohen’s musical career. With...
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Feature Article: Sarah Harmer - Harmer's Charm

Sarah Harmer is no technical whiz. Sure, like any musician, she knows her way around a recording studio. She has a cellphone and an email-equipped laptop computer, which she tries to use to correspond with family and friends. Her record distributor even gave her a digital voice recorder for Christmas, which Harmer took on a Mexican vacation in the hope of capturing song ideas. Unfortunately, she left it switched on and the batteries were dead before she could figure out how to use it. Then, when Harmer returned to Canada, her old Ford Econoline van, which she’d left parked at her parents’ farm outside of Burlington, Ont., wouldn’t start. Alone in the farmyard, she was more than a little frus...
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