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.

Leonard Cohen - The return of the modern troubadour

Leonard Cohen, hailed 20 years ago as Canada’s answer to Bob Dylan, had slipped into obscurity. It was the mid-1980s, and audiences seemed more interested in carefree pop music than in the modern-day troubadour’s philosophical, often bleak compositions. Then, Jennifer Warnes came along. The Los Angeles singer had begun performing Montreal-born Cohen’s material in 1969 and, later, toured with him as a backup vocalist. In 1986 she used her lush soprano voice to interpret a selection of his songs. The resulting album, Famous Blue Raincoat, sold more than 750,000 copies worldwide. And while that success brought Warnes major stardom, it has also helped rejuvenate Cohen’s musical career. With...

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Blog Post: Nick's Picks - The Best Albums of 2016

A selection of 2016's finest recordings, in no particular order: Radiohead  A Moon Shaped Pool - How can something so harrowing sound so sweet? Rich in symphonic and folky lushness, it’s big, beautiful and a little nightmarish.Beyoncé  Lemonade - With profound and touching songs about family ties, racial pride and female strength, Beyoncé makes a powerful personal statement and her career-defining album.David Bowie Blackstar - Bowie’s swan song, a trippy, jazz-infused art rock album that includes the shape-shifting, apocalyptic title track.Solange  A Seat at the Table - A stunning accomplishment for Beyoncé’s once-overshadowed sister: a gorgeous album that is both political an...

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Feature Interview: Adam Cohen

Adam Cohen is the first to admit that being the son of Leonard Cohen is a blessing. But he also confesses that he once struggled to step out of his father’s considerable shadow and establish himself as a musician. Adam’s breakthrough came with his 2012 album, Like a Man, a collection of acoustic, lovelorn songs in which he says he finally found his own voice. His new album, We Go Home, deepens his role in the singer-songwriter tradition and what he calls “the family business.” Recorded in two of his childhood haunts, his father’s homes in Montreal and on the Greek island of Hydra, it connects Adam, 41, to Leonard and to Adam’s own son, seven-year-old Cassius. What drew you to record in Montr...

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Feature Article: Juno Awards - Rock, the Canadian way

It's Juno week again. And once more, those vying for awards in Canadian music's biggest lovefest run the gamut from artistic to plastic-from the always compelling Leonard Cohen to the prefabricated pop quartet Sugar Jones. The Junos, Canada's answer to the Grammys, have always been rife with eccentricities, as Cohen noted in 1993 while accepting an award. "It's only in a country like this," mused the man with the infamous monotone, "that I could get Male Vocalist of the Year." Cohen's competition that year included Neil Young, who is also not known for his dulcet tones. Young won the award two years later. After that, the category name was changed to Best Male Artist to prevent more bad joke...

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Leonard Cohen - Live in Dublin

Call him Mr. Indefatigable. The Montreal-born artist just turned 80, but continues to thrill fans with his creative output. On the heels of his Popular Problems album comes this 3CD/DVD set recorded and shot last year at Dublin’s 02 Arena (the DVD includes bonus songs from the Canadian tour). Featuring over three hours of music, this is Cohen at his best. “Don’t know when we’ll meet again,” he says, “but I promise you that tonight we’ll give you everything that we got.” And he’s good to his word. Supported by his stellar band and backup singers, the fedora-sporting songman delivers superb performances from his songbook. Highlights include his earliest hit from the 1960s, “Suzanne,” his ’80s ...

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