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.

Nick's Picks of 2021

Here, in alphabetical order, are the artists who made some of my favourite music of 2021. These are the albums that excited me most and that I turned to again and again throughout the year. Some, like Adele, Rhiannon Giddens and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, are international musicians I’ve been following from the start of their careers. Others, like Arooj Aftab and Mdou Moctar, are more recent global discoveries. The rest all come from closer to home and stand alongside the best I’ve heard in the past 12 months. Adele - 30  England’s Adele has a habit of naming albums after her age. She also has a tendency to belt out ballads, the kind that huge numbers of people respond to, s...
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Uncovering Canadian rock's early years

The story of rock and roll’s arrival in Canada has often been reduced to this: a good ol’ boy from Arkansas named Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins blew into Toronto with his Hawks in 1958 and cast a hypnotic spell on unsuspecting Canadian audiences.  While it’s true that Hawkins did much to popularize rock music north of the 49th parallel, there were other, often unsung pioneers here already laying the groundwork. And that’s the strength of Greig Stewart’s new book Hawkins, Hound Dog, Elvis and Red: How Rock and Roll Invaded Canada. Stewart pays tribute to performers like Bobby Dean (Blackburn) and the Gems, Frank Motley and his Motley Crew, Little Caesar and the Consuls, Les Vogt and t...
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Nick's Picks of 2020

Some of my favourite albums in 2020, with the notable exception of Bob Dylan’s formidable Rough and Rowdy Ways, were by Canadian artists. This is not to say that these recordings were necessarily the best of the year, because my ears were not attuned to as much new music as usual—so who am I to judge? In fact, much of my lockdown listening during this strangest of years tended toward old familiar standbys: aural comfort food for covid times. But these were the albums from the past year that I found most inspiring. U.S. Girls Heavy Light Meg Remy is an American-born artist who records under the name U.S. Girls. She moved to Toronto in 2010 after marrying the Canadian musician Maximi...
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