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.
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Sheila Chandra - Drone Sweet Drone

One of the most beguiling albums of the summer of 1994 is Sheila Chandra's The Zen Kiss (Real World/Virgin). Like Chandra’s previous Weaving My Ancestors' Voices, it's a recording of solo voice with simple drone-note accompaniment. But the songs are so rich and the vocal techniques so entrancing that the album comes across as a deep, full-bodied work. The Zen Kiss draws on influences as diverse as Islamic, Andalusian, Bulgarian and Celtic musics. And, of course, being of East Indian heritage, Chandra also employs ragas and classical Indian musical ornamentations—always anchored by the incessant drone. As she writes in the liner notes: "The concept of drone has been important in bringing thes...
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Music Review: Van Morrison - A Sense of Wonder

A mystical master of Gaelic rhythm and blues, Van Morrison has for more than 20 years served up musical puzzles to which he has offered no answers. But on A Sense of Wonder, his first album since Warner Brothers, his long-time label, reportedly dropped him, the Irish-born singer has stopped asking questions altogether. The result is lacklustre music with none of Morrison’s usual gut-wrenching soul. On the title track, Morrison contemplates nature’s beauty; with “Ancient of Days” and “The Master’s Eyes” he thanks the Creator for His generous ways; on the dirge-like “Let the Slave” he delivers the 18th-century visionary poet William Blake’s “The Price of Experience” in rapid monotone. Only on ...
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Loreena McKennitt - Celtic dreams

It was a ritual that ended up paying handsome dividends. Every Saturday for three years, Loreena McKennitt would rise before dawn, load her 50-lb. harp into the back of her beat-up Honda Civic and drive 150 km from her rented farmhouse in Stratford, Ont., to the St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto. There, McKennitt would find a spot amid the bustle of shoppers and shouting vendors. Her fiery red hair tumbling down over Elizabethan-style clothing, she sang ancient Celtic songs of mystery and romance to the ethereal strains of her instrument. The musician stopped more than a few passers-by dead in their tracks. And the appreciative ones tossed money her way. But then, McKennitt hit a gold ...
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