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.
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Q & A with Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint

Elvis Costello is rock’s renaissance man. Along with writing and recording his own songs — some of the wittiest and most acerbic in the pop catalogue, Costello has produced a number of Britain’s best bands, including the Pogues, the Specials and Squeeze. The husband of Diana Krall has also become something of a pop commentator, penning liner notes for CD reissues and acting as a contributor to Vanity Fair. A future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer himself, Costello has collaborated with some of pop’s biggest heavyweights, including Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. His latest partner is Allen Toussaint, the legendary New Orleans artist, best known for writing numerous R&B hits and produ...
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Interview with Dr. John - July 11, 1987

Mac Rebennack a.k.a. Dr. John (November 20, 1941 – June 6, 2019)"This guy has the whole history of New Orleans music in his head," David Simon, creator of TV's Treme, once said about Dr. John. Indeed he did.In the summer of 1987, I was the lucky recipient of an extensive history lesson from the Good Doctor on the Big Easy's musical past. Over the course of an unforgettable hour, the "Right Place, Wrong Time" singer regaled me with tales of his musical career and the pivotal figures he worked with, artists like Fats Domino's guitarist Walter 'Papoose' Nelson, producer Cosimo Matassa and bandleader Bumps Blackwell, as well as his own heroes, including Professor Longhair.These are my original t...
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Music Feature: Dr. John - New Orleans is Rising

Dr. John and New Orleans. Although the legendary pianist has made New York City his home for almost a decade now, his name still conjures up visions of Voodoo, Mardi Gras and the Big Easy. Born in New Orleans nearly 50 years ago as Mac Rebennack, the man once known as the Night Tripper is so deeply steeped in the city’s musical traditions that he’s become its best-known historian and archivist, a walking, talking encyclopedia and human jukebox rolled into one.Sitting in the dressing room at Toronto’s El Mocambo after a recent night stand, Rebennack downplayed any talk about his newfound success. Despite having won a Grammy for “Makin’ Whoopee,” a sultry duet with Rickie Lee Jones from his be...
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Music Feature: Aaron Neville - Warm Your Heart (interview + review)

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

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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