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.
Web Design & Digital Marketing

Lightfoot, Mitchell, Young and L.A.'s famed Troubadour nightclub

The Troubadour is one of the most storied venues in popular music. Beginning in 1961, owner Doug Weston ran the club, located in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard, as a showcase for folk and country artists. Later, it featured rock musicians as well.The Troubadour is where Elton John made his triumphant U.S. debut, where the Byrds, who met at a Monday open mic, first performed their classic take on Dylan’s “Tambourine Man,” where Buffalo Springfield made their live debut, where the Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey met in the front bar and where Led Zeppelin famously played with Fairport Convention in a three-hour jam session.But more than anything, the Troubadour became synonymous wi...
Continue reading
  447 Hits

R.I.P. Jerry Jeff Walker

Gordon Lightfoot tips his hat to his friend Jerry Jeff Walker, who sadly passed away on October 23. The "Mr. Bojangles" singer once gave Lightfoot his favourite piece of clothing: a jacket made of three kinds of leather, tie-dyed to look like autumn leaves. "I loved that jacket, and I guess that’s how much I loved Gordon," Walker told Lightfoot biographer Nicholas Jennings. Added Walker with a laugh: "I thought [Gord] needed it for his image--loosen him up a bit." Lightfoot wore the jacket on the cover of his Don Quixote album. R.I.P. Jerry Jeff.
  469 Hits

Country & Lightfoot

Someone once dubbed his singing style “country-and-Lightfoot,” and there’s certainly some truth to it. With his distinctive nasally twang, there’s always been a big streak of country running through Canada’s greatest folk singer and songwriter. Just look at Gordon Lightfoot’s history:In 1959, Lightfoot joined CBC’s Country Hoedown, as part of the cast of the Singing’ Swingin’ Eight. The show’s set was a makeshift barn, complete with wagon wheels and bales of straw. Members of the Singin’ Swingin’ Eight (four men and four women) wore yoked cowboy shirts and gingham crinoline. Can you spot Lightfoot?Lightfoot travelled to Nashville with Chateau Records’ Art Snider in 1962 and recorded his...
Continue reading
  489 Hits

Rheostatics - Rock in a literary groove

It is a particularly eerie case of life imitating art. In Paul Quarrington’s novel Whale Music, rock musician Desmond Howell writes a song called “Claire” that unexpectedly becomes a hit single. Recently, the Rheostatics, a Canadian rock band with no previous hit singles to its credit, recorded a sound track for the film adaptation, including their own version of “Claire.” The song, a dreamy slice of melodic pop, is now getting airplay on commercial radio stations across Canada, exposing the critically acclaimed group to its largest audience to date. “Normally, we just follow our instincts on our albums,” admits guitarist Dave Bidini. “Here, we got a chance to pretend to be someone else...
Continue reading
  415 Hits

Feature Article: Sarah Harmer - Harmer's Charm

Sarah Harmer is no technical whiz. Sure, like any musician, she knows her way around a recording studio. She has a cellphone and an email-equipped laptop computer, which she tries to use to correspond with family and friends. Her record distributor even gave her a digital voice recorder for Christmas, which Harmer took on a Mexican vacation in the hope of capturing song ideas. Unfortunately, she left it switched on and the batteries were dead before she could figure out how to use it. Then, when Harmer returned to Canada, her old Ford Econoline van, which she’d left parked at her parents’ farm outside of Burlington, Ont., wouldn’t start. Alone in the farmyard, she was more than a little frus...
Continue reading
  505 Hits