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 Feature: The sonic balm of Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Now that the turmoil of recent times has passed, Joseph Shabalala can look back fondly on those halcyon days nearly 10 years ago when his group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, first joined Paul Simon on tour.The South African vocal ensemble had sung two songs with Simon on his critically acclaimed Graceland album, but those had been in English. And Shabalala wasnt sure how audiences would respond to his group's Zulu material."It was a real culture shockk when we stepped onstage," admitted the modest, soft-spoken singer, during a tour stop outside Chicago. "I was so worried that people would be discouraged by our language."The shock was, of course, they weren't. From the moment audiences ...
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Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Long Walk to Freedom

Although still best known for singing on Paul Simon’s Graceland album, the South African gospel group, led by Joseph Shabalala, has its own impressive history, including two Grammy winning albums. Here, Mambazo re-records some of its classic songs with Emmylou Harris (“Nearer My God to Thee”) and Taj Mahal (a Delta style “Mbube”), while Sarah McLachlan and Melissa Etheridge lend their voices to Graceland’s “Homeless” and “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” respectively. Sonic sweetness. 
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