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 Review: Rolling Thunder Revue - A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorcese

RollingThunderRevue-movie-poster
There's plenty to love about Martin Scorcese's new Netflix documentary about Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour. There are some illuminating present-day interviews with cast members including the masked ringleader Dylan himself, although he claims to barely remember anything about the tour, as he wasn't "even born yet." The story itself is one of rock's great dramas. Rolling Thunder was an entirely different way of touring. It began with the idea of Dylan, his buddy Bobby Neuwirth and mentor Ramblin’ Jack Elliott playing small venues while traveling around in a station wagon. When that proved impractical, it grew into a larger, illustrious cast of characters that included Joan Baez, Roge...
Continue reading
  305 Hits

New York: If you can make it there....

The Paupers in Central Park - photo by Linda Eastman
Canadian musicians have always flocked to New York, drawn like moths to the bright lights of the city that never sleeps. Dreams of a breakthrough in New York have inspired artists ever since Toronto vocal groups the Crew-Cuts, the Four Lads and the Diamonds all had success there, followed by Ottawa teenager Paul Anka, who ventured to the Big Apple in 1957 and scored a number one hit with "Diana," his lovestruck ode to a former babysitter. The steady stream continued during the folk boom. In November, 1965, Ian & Sylvia performed at New York's prestigious Philharmonic Hall while Gordon Lightfoot played a few days later just down Broadway Avenue at the Town Hall. Both folk acts became regu...
Continue reading
  263 Hits

Red Shea and John Stockfish: Lightfoot's first sidemen

Red Shea and John Stockfish with Lightfoot at Expo 67
Gordon Lightfoot's music has always been about more than just the man and his songs. Beginning in 1965, all of Lighfoot's performances and recordings included regular band members. The first two musicians to join him were guitarist Red Shea and bassist John Stockfish. Throughout the rest of the '60s and into the '70s, Shea and Stockfish each provided key elements to the Lightfoot sound. But who were they, and where did they come from? Red Shea was born Laurice Milton Pouliot in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Red had a checkered past, having hopped freight trains and worked in a traveling carnival. He'd even done a stint in prison. Looking to break into show business, he ventured east with his ...
Continue reading
  1251 Hits

Toronto Songs: Gordon Lightfoot's On Yonge Street

Toronto Songs: Gordon Lightfoot's On Yonge Street
Gordon Lightfoot got his start on Yonge Street, not in Yorkville. Although the bard of Canadian song is often associated with Yorkville’s Riverboat coffeehouse, where he first became a star while performing weeklong stints in the mid-1960s, his first real home as a solo artist was Steele’s Tavern, at 349 Yonge. A two-storey operation run by Greek restaurateur Steele Basil, Steele’s was sandwiched between Yonge Street’s famously competitive record stores: Sam’s and A&A’s. There, in the upstairs Venetian Lounge, Lightfoot performed his songs for anyone who would listen, often competing with the clink of beer glasses and televised hockey games for people’s attention. Lightfoot had traveled ...
Continue reading
  917 Hits

Book: Lightfoot

Lightfoot-paperback-frontcvr
Details: Author: Nicholas Jennings; Hardciover/Paperback: 327 pages; Publisher: Penguin Random House; 2017/2018; Language: English; ISBN: 978-0-14-319920-5 Book Description from Amazon The definitive, full-access story of the life and songs of Canada's legendary troubadour Gordon Lightfoot’s name is synonymous with timeless songs about trains and shipwrecks, rivers and highways, lovers and loneliness. His music defined the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and ‘70s, topped charts and sold millions. He is unquestionably Canada’s greatest songwriter, and an international star who has performed on the world’s biggest stages. While Lightfoot’s songs are well known, the man behind them is elusive. He’s...
Continue reading
  344 Hits