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.

Blue Rodeo - Urban Cowboys

The concert began and ended badly. Minutes before the members of Blue Rodeo were due onstage at the student lounge of Erindale College in suburban Toronto, the band’s manager, John Caton, had been refused admittance. A student security guard with a penchant for protocol insisted that because Caton had no photo identification proving he was old enough to drink, the manager—who is 39—could not go in. Undeterred, Blue Rodeo gave a spirited two-hour performance. Yet some people in the audience of 300 failed to give the show their full attention: it had been exam week, and several students were more interested in consuming large quantities of beer than in listening to the band’s thoughtful brand ...
Continue reading
  1055 Hits

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, 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 horizon, a fo...
Continue reading
  1520 Hits

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...
Continue reading
  1157 Hits