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: Rune Halland and Cruisin' Records

Rune Halland, of Oslo’s Cruisin’ Records, caught the music bug—you could say a case of rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie-woogie flu—at an early age. At 22, the university student made a pilgrimage all the way to New Orleans, the cradle of jazz and the home of rhythm & blues greats like Fats Domino, Professor Longhair and Allen Toussaint.  While in the Big Easy, Halland heard that his hellcat hero Jerry Lee Lewis was performing in Detroit. He excitedly bought a bus ticket and headed north, only to find when he arrived in the Motor City, after an arduous 30-hour-long journey, that the Killer had cancelled. What to do? After wandering the mean streets of Detroit, in predominantly black ...
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Music Review: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - If I Can Dream

The King of Rock & Roll backed by strings and brass? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Elvis had diverse musical tastes and was a big fan of opera singer Mario Lanza. “This is the album he always would have wanted to do,” says Priscilla Presley, the singer’s former wife. Added Priscilla, who approved the pairing of Elvis’ vocals with brand-new accompaniment by London’s Royal Philharmonic: “He would have loved to play with such a prestigious symphony orchestra.” Released for his 80th birthday, the collection is a reminder of Elvis’ emotive power, whether on familiar songs like “Love Me Tender” or the inspirational title track. Italian operatic pop trio Il Volo joins Elvis on a robust ...
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Lisa Marie Presley - Storm and Grace

It couldn’t have been easy growing up in the shadow of her famous father. Lisa Marie, Elvis’ daughter with Priscilla, struggled through three marriages to musician Danny Keough, with whom she had two children, superstar Michael Jackson and actor Nicolas Cage. Now happily married to guitarist Michael Lockwood, with whom she has twin girls, the 44-year-old singer has just released the authentic sounding Storm and Grace. Says Presley: “It’s me without any attitude or anger at a time of rediscovery.” Produced by T-Bone Burnett, Storm and Grace reveals an artist baring her soul and embracing her Southern roots. Mixing country, folk and blues, Presley delivers moody confessionals like “Over Me” an...
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Lisa Marie Presley - To Whom It May Concern

As the daughter of the King of Rock ’n’ Roll and the former wife of the self-proclaimed King of Pop (a.k.a. Wacko Jacko), poor little Lisa Marie comes with a whole heap of baggage. But the tabloid target is sure to silence her critics with her long-awaited debut. Inheriting her father’s deep, sultry voice and writing all of the songs, including the hard-rocking confessional “S.O.B.” and “Lights Out,” the surprisingly frank ode to Graceland’s dark side, Elvis’ and Priscilla’s lovechild has acquitted herself admirably.
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Lisa Marie Presley - Now What

Elvis’ only child didn’t release her debut until she was 35—after having survived drugs, Scientology and two children from three marriages. Still, To Whom It May Concern was a pleasant surprise, full of confessionals and dark odes to Graceland. Sadly, Now What suffers from the sophomore jinx. Apart from the gritty ballad “Shine,” it’s a disappointing throwback to the icky ’80s, from faux Sex Pistols’ guitar buzz of “Idiot” to the dreadful Don Henley number “Dirty Laundry,” the album’s first single. Retro-dreck.
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