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.

Mariposa Folk Festival - 60 years ago

Sixty years ago this week, an estimated 5,000 people flooded into tiny Orillia, Ontario to attend the first Mariposa Folk Festival. Here is an excerpt from Before the Gold Rush about that historic inaugural event: Sitting in neatly arranged rows of canvas chairs, a buttoned-down crowd of 2,000 watched the inaugural Mariposa unfold one August weekend in 1961. The audience, mostly university students from Toronto, had travelled to Orillia on the shores of Lake Couchiching to hear an all-Canadian line-up headed by Sylvia Fricker and Ian Tyson, whoʼd also donated his artistic skills to create the stylized orange sun that dominated the festivalʼs poster. On the opening Friday night, fol...
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Music Review: Bonnie Raitt - Dig in Deep

The flame-haired star, part of rock’s sisterhood with Linda Ronstadt and Maria Muldaur, is a formidable slide guitarist. As a young performer on the Boston coffeehouse circuit in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Raitt met blues greats like Sippie Wallace, Son House and Muddy Waters and immersed herself in the tradition. Soon, she was winning acclaim for her own bottleneck style. Born and raised a Quaker, she has always mixed activism with her music, campaigning against nuclear energy with No Nukes concerts and co-founding the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which works to improve royalties, financial conditions, and recognition for R&B pioneers. Her recorded history is exceptional, ...
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Feature Article: John Prine - Fair & Square

Chicago is the cradle of modern blues, the place where Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf urbanized and electrified the music of the Mississippi Delta. But, during the ’70s, the windy city also gave rise to two of the finest singer-songwriters that America has ever produced: John Prine and Steve Goodman. Like bookends in a vast library of American roots music, Prine and Goodman shared stages and a gift for wry, witty and often poignant compositions. Between them, they wrote hundreds of country, bluegrass, folk and rock ’n’ roll songs, many of which are now considered standards and covered by others: Jimmy Buffett recorded Goodman’s politically incisive “Banana Republics” and Willie Nelson made Go...
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