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 2023

Once again, I look back on a year of music. For me, 2023 was rich in some phenomenal sounds. But much of what I consumed was through live performances, less through studio recordings. The Polaris Music Prize offered plenty of new discoveries, including Debby Friday and her winning Good Luck debut, Aysanabee's Watin and Begonia's Powder Blue. For compilations of the past year, nothing for me can top Written in Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos, a stunning seven-CD set compiled by Cheryl Pawelski of stripped down gems by unsung heroes who wrote the classic songs of Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave and the Staple Singers. Jason Wilson's Ashara album, ...
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Ecological Rock: Pop Musicians Sing Out to Save the Planet

It resembled the historic Live Aid concert of 1985: a global jukebox featuring some of the world's top musicians performing for a cause. And like the original world benefit for African famine relief, the event was broadcast to an audience expected in advance to number one billion viewers in more than 100 countries.Last Saturday's multinational concert, titled Our Common Future, also reflected the new activism in rock music by focusing on an urgent global issue: the environment. The performers included Elton John in Edinburgh, Diana Ross in London, Herbie Hancock and John Denver in New York City, Midnight Oil in Sydney, Sting in Rio de Janeiro, along with artists in Los Angeles, Norway, Tokyo...
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The joyous flute of Kathryn Moses

The sunny personality of Kathryn Moses always shone through in her music. Joyous and free-spirited, she expressed those qualities on flute, saxophone and vocals – she was gifted at all three –throughout a career in jazz, pop and classical music that lasted over half a century. Although she started out playing in orchestras, the American-born Ms. Moses eventually immigrated to Canada and shifted into the male-dominated world of jazz in Toronto while juggling work with chamber music, commercial jingles and numerous recording sessions. She contributed to a diverse range of albums by such artists as Bruce Cockburn, Chuck Mangione, Murray McLauchlan, Tom Paxton, Leroy Sibbles, Tom Rush, Raffi, Na...
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Liner Notes: True North at 50

Everything has to start somewhere. For True North Records and Bruce Cockburn, the beginning can be traced to April 7, 1970. On that spring day in Toronto, a remarkably mild and sunny one, by all accounts, True North was auspiciously born with the release of Cockburn’s first solo album. The reviews for the record were universally ecstatic. One newspaper said it deserved “nothing but praise,” while another called the album “quite simply the best thing to happen in Canadian music since Joni Mitchell.” It was the start of a long and fruitful partnership between label and artist. Over the next 50 years, True North would issue another 33 albums by the acclaimed singer-songwriter (along with hundre...
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Liner Notes: Bruce Cockburn - Rumours of Glory box set

In his illuminating memoir, also called Rumours of Glory, Bruce Cockburn writes: “My songs are influenced by what I read, where I travel and what I witness.” He adds: They’re not just about spirituality or “war, injustice and exploitation,” but “derive from life itself.” If life is his inspiration, then Cockburn’s has certainly been rich, judging by the 130 songs in this box set. Written over nearly 50 years, with the earliest recording being 1966’s “Bird Without Wings,” they range from spiritual quests and romantic ballads to prickly protests and engaging travelogues drawn from first-hand experiences on five continents. Together, they form an enlightening audio companion to the memoir. It’s...
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