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.

Lhasa de Sela - Exotic sounds steeped in melancholy

Nobody could accuse Lhasa de Sela of taking the easy route to stardom. The Montreal musician insists on singing songs entirely in Spanish at a time when other Quebecbased acts going for a wider audience—even francophone ones— have opted for English. Yet Lhasa’s exotic sound, steeped in melancholic Mexican ballads, has clearly struck a chord. The 25-year-old singer’s debut album, La Llorona, recently went gold in Canada with sales of 50,000 and earned her two Juno nominations, for best global album and best new solo artist Meanwhile, her performances have drawn rave reviews for their intense theatricality. Born in upstate New York to a Mexican father and an American mother, a teacher and phot...
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Tony Quarrington - Songs of Remembrance

Not many contemporary artists have written and recorded memorable songs about the First World War, the horrific 1914-1918 conflict that killed nine million soldiers and 13 million civilians. One of the best is Australian folksinger Eric Bogle’s ballad “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” as covered by the Pogues on their 1984 album Red Roses for Me. Toronto’s Tony Quarrington has recorded an entire album of original WW1 songs called For King and Country: Canada in the Great War and many are well worth hearing. It takes listeners through the experiences of Canadians during the war, in the trenches and on the home front. There are songs about Winnipeg flying ace Alan McLeod (...
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John Finley - Soul Singer

Blue-eyed soul was the term coined in the 1960s to describe the sound of the rhythm-and-blues stylings of excitable white boys. The most famous exponents were America’s Righteous Brothers, the Young Rascals and England’s Spencer Davis Group, with vocalist Stevie Winwood. One the world’s best blue-eyed soul singers has always been Canada’s John Finley. As a member of Toronto’s r&b heroes Jon and Lee & the Checkmates, Finley caused a sensation in the mid-’60s with gut-wrenching, sweat-soaked performances and hyper-adrenalized emotion in a voice that held audiences spellbound as he soared from hushed stage whisper to rafter-shaking scream.  With the Checkmates, Finley was a dominan...
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