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.

Diana Krall - The Girl in the Other Room

Although she covers Tom Waits, the big news is that Krall is emerging as a fine songwriter. Where the glamour puss previously penned only several songs, here she co-writes six with influential husband Elvis Costello. Some, like “Abandoned Masquerade” and “I’ve Changed My Address,” are stark jazz ballads. But others put Krall in either Norah Jones territory (the catchy, pop-flavored “Narrow Daylight”) or the Joni Mitchell camp (the cool, confessional narrative of “Departure Bay”). Clearly, marriage suits her.

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Q & A with Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint

Elvis Costello is rock’s renaissance man. Along with writing and recording his own songs — some of the wittiest and most acerbic in the pop catalogue, Costello has produced a number of Britain’s best bands, including the Pogues, the Specials and Squeeze. The husband of Diana Krall has also become something of a pop commentator, penning liner notes for CD reissues and acting as a contributor to Vanity Fair. A future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer himself, Costello has collaborated with some of pop’s biggest heavyweights, including Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. His latest partner is Allen Toussaint, the legendary New Orleans artist, best known for writing numerous R&B hits and produ...

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Feature Article: Elvis Costello - Elvis Goes North

My editor thinks Elvis Costello’s latest album, North, is a lot like Frank Sinatra’s 1954 classic In the Wee Small Hours. He’s right: both recordings are intimate explorations of emotional loss and the rush of new romance. On top of that, the string-backed piano ballads pack an immediate, visceral punch despite their spare instrumentation. When Costello calls, I mention the comparison. “That’s very flattering,” he says from the back of a limousine speeding along the Autobahn somewhere between Berlin and Hamburg. “Sinatra’s album is a masterpiece.” Then he brings up the Diana Krall factor: “People have made assumptions based on changes in my life that the appearance of quiet sounds,...

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Blog Post: We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thang

The march by Nazis, white supremacists, Ku Klux Klansmen and garden-variety racists in Charlottesville, Virginia last Saturday and the resulting violence that left one counter-protester dead is a deeply disturbing sign of just how much fascists in America have felt empowered by Donald Trump. As Globe and Mail columnist John Ibittson wrote: “[Trump] is the man who launched his campaign for president by accusing Mexican immigrants of ‘bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.’ This is the man who wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the country. This is the man who wants to build a wall. And this is the man who, on Saturday, refused to condemn white supremacists, blaming inst...

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Music Review: Elvis Costello - Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album

Elvis Costello is one of pop’s most inventive composers—he once penned a song called “Everyday I Write the Book,” which brilliantly drew parallels between romance and a wordsmith’s craft. Now the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has actually written a book, a memoir called Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, in which he cleverly weaves stories about his life, jazz-musician wife Diana Krall and assorted music-legend friends. He’s also compiled 38 songs on two discs that compliment the themes and stories in his book. The collection draws from his impressive song catalogue, including early hits like “Alison” and “Watching the Detectives” to numbers co-written with the likes of George Jones, All...

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