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.

Music Review: John Prine & Steve Goodman - German Afternoon and Unfinished Business

Folksingers, the troubadours who inhabited so many coffeehouses and festivals two decades ago, had become an endangered species by the early 1980s. But recently, as rock returned to its roots, folk music has quietly staged a comeback—through adventurous festivals and such popular artists as Suzanne Vega and the punk-influenced Billy Bragg and Michelle Shocked. Two singer-songwriters who have influenced the new wave of folk, John Prine and Steve Goodman, have new recordings out on Edmonton’s Stony Plain label. Their albums reveal the source of folk’s strength: songs of intimacy and insight.Goodman, who died in 1984 after a long battle with leukemia, and Prine, Goodman’s close friend, rank amo...
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Music Feature: Irish balladeers Andy Irvine and Paul Brady

Any traditional music from the British Isles, when played well, can breathe history as if aged in wood. A pair of young Irish folksingers stopped briefly in Toronto to give listeners a taste of the bittersweet ballads and jaunty jigs from another era.Paul Brady and Andy Irvine are former members of Planxty, a now defunct Irish band whose versatile music won them fans all over Europe. As a duo, Brady and Irvine provide all the moods and memories of their homeland, captured in songs of classical splendour.Their performance at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Education Auditorium gave the audience tales as strange as the instruments to which they’re sung: “Wearing the Britches,” an admitt...
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Music Feature: Expeditions to pop's global village

On Naked, the latest album by rock’s influential New York City-based Talking Heads, leader David Byrne sings: “’Round and ’round and we won’t let go/And where we stop no one knows.” The song is “Ruby Dear,” and Byrne could well be referring to the new disc’s musical tour around the world. Recorded in Paris with a crew of international musicians, Naked reflects pop’s global village, where Congolese guitars meet Latin-style horns and ancient Middle Eastern melodies play off modern Western synthesizers. The result is one of the band’s best recordings. And by crossing a number of cultural boundaries, Naked signals a strong new trend toward international pop.Rock music ha...
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