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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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.
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Praise for Lightfoot, the definitive biography

A round up of the best reviews from Canadian and American magazines and newspapers:“Perhaps the greatest gift of Lightfoot is that [it leads] you right back to [his] music. Feels like you never left, only better.” Maclean’s magazine“an informative, highly readable book...Lightfoot fans should rejoice.”   Globe & Mail“This portrait of a stoic, deeply talented and driven man is an engaging and moving one. An essential read for anyone who cares about late 20th century troubadours.”  Buffalo News“Jennings as always is a master storyteller . . . His deft manipulation of narrative, told in clear language, draws the reader in immediately . . . Jennings’s ...
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