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 Feature: Robbie Robertson - Songs of a native son

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Stepping off a Greyhound bus from Toronto in 1961, a 17-year-old boy found himself in West Helena, Ark., by the banks of the Mississippi River, unable to believe his senses. “It smelled different and moved different,” Robbie Robertson recently recalled. “The people talked and dressed different. And the air was filled with thick and funky music.” The experience left an indelible impression on the budding guitarist and songwriter. Years later, Robertson drew on it to write some of rock’s most evocative songs—including “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” And he performed them with his group, The Band, which critic Greil Marcus has called “the best rock ’n’ roll band...
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Music Review: The Neville Brothers - Yellow Moon

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Steeped in voodoo lore, New Orleans has a reputation for casting a spell on visitors. Known to its residents as “the Big Easy,” the city has a tropical climate and a French and Spanish colonial history that give it an atmosphere unique in North America. Tourists are charmed by its annual Mardi Gras festivities and its world-famous Cajun cuisine. But for many people, music provides the city’s most potent magic. Although it has long been associated with such traditional styles as Dixieland, New Orleans also produced some of the liveliest rhythm and blues of the 1950s. Later, its musicians provided rock ‘n’ roll with exotic flavorings. Now, the city is experiencing a musical boom that extends f...
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Music Review: Daniel Lanois - For the Beauty of Wynona

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One of the world's pre-eminent record producers, Canada's Daniel Lanois stepped out from behind the controls in 1989 to release his own album. An auspicious debut, Acadie signalled the arrival of a promising new performer with a flair for moody, country-tinged rock. For the Beauty of Wynona , his follow-up album, reveals other facets of his artistry. Inspired by Winona, Ont., the town near Hamilton where Lanois grew up, the recording is full of songs that conjure up stark, sometimes haunting images. The title track, with its childhood memories of fishing and girls skipping double-dutch, and “Sleeping in the Devil's Bed,” a lazy honky-tonk number, have a shimmering, dreamlike quality. And the...
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Feature Article: Daniel Lanois' shining pedal steel sound

Feature Article: Daniel Lanois' shining pedal steel sound
“I have wandered far and wide,” Daniel Lanois sings on the title track to his latest album, “all the way from Paris to Mexico.” The nomadic movements of Canada’s most acclaimed producer are the stuff of legend. After leaving Hamilton, Ont. in the early 1980s to work with U2 in a Dublin castle, Lanois has made a habit out of recording in unusual and far-flung settings: from a dairy barn in Somerset, England to a former porn theatre in southern California. For 10 years, he conducted much of his production work in an ancient, sprawling mansion in New Orleans. Even then, he championed the idea of portable studios and often took equipment with him on the road. Now, Lanois has returned from a year...
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