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 ...
Continue reading
  44 Hits

Music Review: Paul Simon - Graceland

Paul Simon’s new album, Graceland, opens with an accordion wheezing erratically, as if trying to catch its breath. Then, a thundering drumbeat and a pulsing bass gradually add a more certain rhythm. By the time Simon begins to sing, the strange music has cast a hypnotic spell. That first song, “The Boy in the Bubble,” is a stirring introduction to the colorful sounds of South African music, a topsy-turvy world where guitars play the role of percussion instruments instead of providing the melody, and voices create rhythmic accents. Simon recorded “Bubble,” like much of Graceland, in both Johannesburg and New York. By melding the traditional, vigorous urban sounds of black South Afri...
Continue reading
  20 Hits