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.

Drew Gonsalves: Calypso's Crown Prince

Drew Gonsalves
On a wintery night at Toronto’s plush Koerner Hall, inside the city’s stately Royal Conservatory of Music, two generations of calypso stars are busy heating up the audience. Onstage in the foreground is the reigning queen, Trinidad & Tobago’s Calypso Rose. Just behind her is the crown prince, Drew Gonsalves, whose Canadian band Kobo Town has opened the show and is now backing the headliner. As the cheeky Rose sings and shimmies through her set to the crowd’s delight, the bearded, bespectacled, guitar-strumming Gonsalves is visibly beaming: he co-wrote and arranged many of the songs Rose is performing, all taken from her award-winning comeback album, Far From Home . And now he and the sep...
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Music Feature: Roaring Lion - At 87, he's still king of Calypso

RoaringLion-1
He's the grand old man of calypso, the historian and upholder of Trinidad's legendary musical tradition. He's also a living legend himself, the gentleman with the ever-present cane whose saucy double-entendres have delighted royalty, popes and presidents the world over. But Roaring Lion is not about to sit back and rest on his considerable laurels. Although he turns 88 on June 15, the Lion, born Raphael de Leon, is currently enjoying a sparkling career revival that is the envy of soca stars 60 years his junior. His song 'Papa Chunks' is currently the number one hit throughout much of the Caribbean. And this Sunday, he headlines Caribbean Musical Expo '95 at the Metro Convention Centre, a mam...
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Feature Article: Kobo Town and the roots of calypso

Feature Article: Kobo Town and the roots of calypso
Drew Gonsalves laughs about how he had to leave Trinidad to discover the rich calypso tradition of his birthplace. As a teenager, he was far more interested in rock and heavy metal music than the songs of Roaring Lion or the Mighty Sparrow. The legendary Lord Kitchener even lived up the street from his family home in Diego Martin, a suburb of Port-of-Spain, but he remained unimpressed. “I was very typical of a middle-class Trinidadian boy in that I had a taste for all things foreign,” admits Gonsalves, “which is something that (novelist) V.S. Naipaul wrote so scathingly about in the 1960s. Calypso was always in the air, but I just wasn’t interested.” That all changed when Gonsalves’ mother, ...
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