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: Aaron Neville - Warm Your Heart (interview + review)

AaronNeville-WarmYourHeart
Aaron Neville’s voice has the power to open doors. When he was a boy in his native New Orleans, he used to sing his way into basketball games and movie theatres, impressing ticket-takers so much with his sidewalk performances that they would let him in free. Then, in 1967, when Neville was a 26-year-old stevedore, his singing took him from the docks to the top of the charts with the achingly sweet ballad “Tell It like It Is.” Since then, his distinctive tenor has enriched the music that he and his three brothers make as the highly acclaimed New Orleans-flavored band The Neville Brothers, whose popularity expanded during the 1980s with such albums as Fiyo on the Bayou (1981) and Yellow Moon (...
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Music Review: The Neville Brothers - Yellow Moon

NevilleBrothers-YellowMoon
Steeped in voodoo lore, New Orleans has a reputation for casting a spell on visitors. Known to its residents as “the Big Easy,” the city has a tropical climate and a French and Spanish colonial history that give it an atmosphere unique in North America. Tourists are charmed by its annual Mardi Gras festivities and its world-famous Cajun cuisine. But for many people, music provides the city’s most potent magic. Although it has long been associated with such traditional styles as Dixieland, New Orleans also produced some of the liveliest rhythm and blues of the 1950s. Later, its musicians provided rock ‘n’ roll with exotic flavorings. Now, the city is experiencing a musical boom that extends f...
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Feature Article: Taj Mahal - Bluesman on a mission

Feature Article: Taj Mahal - Bluesman on a mission
Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, better known as Taj Mahal, is an American music treasure. A self-taught singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Mahal has done more to stretch and redefine blues music than any other artist past or present. Over the course of his over 50 year career, he has taken the blues and fused it with the sounds of the Caribbean, Africa, the South Pacific and beyond. This diverse, melting-pot approach has puzzled some listeners while making Mahal a hero to lovers of eclectic roots music. “Here’s the thing, plain and simple,” music blogger Miles Mellough once wrote about the man, “Taj Mahal has always been a conundrum; a man who is capable of mirroring many t...
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Obituary: Allen Toussaint - New Orleans' Finest

Obituary: Allen Toussaint - New Orleans' Finest
Allen Toussaint (January 14, 1938 – November 10, 2015) touched so much of my favorite music. He wrote Aaron Neville’s “Tell It Like It Is,” Ernie K-Doe's “Mother-in-Law,” Irma Thomas” “Ruler of My Heart,” Chris Kenner’s “I Like It Like That,” Lee Dorsey’s “Holy Cow” and Solomon Burke’s “Get Out of My Life Woman.” He also penned two famous instrumentals: Al Hirt’s “Java” and Herb Alpert’s “Whipped Cream.” Beyond songwriting, Toussaint groomed one of the best bands of all time, the Meters, and produced artists like the Neville Brothers, Paul McCartney, Dr. John, Paul Simon, Joe Cocker, Glen Campbell, Labelle and Robert Palmer. Everything he DID was funky. To hear the late great pianist capture...
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