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.

Feature Article: The Sadies and the Good stuff

Dallas and Travis Good have worked with Neil Young, author Margaret Atwood, Randy Bachman, Buffy Sainte-Marie and actor Gordon Pinsent. But it was another Canadian icon—one with whom they’ve yet to collaborate—who offered some crucial wisdom. It was 1996, when their band the Sadies was getting started, and Dallas’ and Travis’ father, Bruce, of bluegrass heroes the Good Brothers, was celebrating his 50th birthday at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern. Into the club walks Gordon Lightfoot, who’d had the senior Goods open for him during the 1970s. “Afterwards,” Travis recalls, “Lightfoot turned to us and says, ‘The only advice I’ll give you is do your own songs.’ We took heed and started getting rid of...
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Gordon Lightfoot - All Live

Many fans have made pilgrimages to Toronto’s Massey Hall to attend the Canadian legend’s annual concerts. This album is a Lightfoot lover’s dream: 19 songs recorded in the hallowed hall between 1998-2001—exactly as they were performed. Includes such early classics as “Sundown” and later favorites like “A Painter Passing Through.”
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Various artists - Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot

A mixed bag, this Lightfoot love-in ranges from refreshing interpretations by Cowboy Junkies (a rocking “The Way I Feel”), Bruce Cockburn (a spooky “Ribbon of Darkness”) and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings (a stirring “Summer Side of Life”) to such weak or dated choices as “Go Go Round” (Blue Rodeo), “Bend in the River” (Harry Manx) and “Black Day in July” (the Tragically Hip). With Aengus Finnan’s paean joining the Guess Who’s early testimonial, at least two tribute songs now exist titled “Lightfoot.” Go Go Gord.
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Ranee Lee - Maple Groove: Songs from the Great Canadian Songbook

Along with k.d. lang’s Hymns from the 49th Parallel and the recent Gordon Lightfoot tribute album, Lee’s latest represents a new trend: singers mining vintage Canadian nuggets for repertoire. Lee casts songs by Randy Bachman, David Clayton-Thomas and others in a jazz setting—with surprising results. While her version of Lightfoot’s folky “If You Could Read My Mind” swings beautifully, her takes on jazzy pop numbers like Bachman’s “Undun” and Clayton-Thomas’ “Spinning Wheel” fall surprisingly flat.
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Foals - Antidotes

Frontman Yannis Philippakis’ previous band was called the Edmund Fitzgerald, but there’s nothing Lightfootish about Foals, a smart-rock outfit from Oxford, England, home of fellow braniacs Radiohead. Like America’s Vampire Weekend, Foals has a taste for African music—check out the rhythmic romance of “Red Sock Pugie” and the closing, anthemic “Tron,” featuring the horns of Afrobeat big band Antibalas. And the infectious “Cassius,” which references the fall of Rome, is guaranteed to dancefloors everywhere. Apr. 8   
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