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.

Obituary: Big Sugar bassist Garry Lowe

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He was the gentle, dreadlocked musician who gave popular Canadian blues-reggae rockers Big Sugar its distinctive bass sound. But Garry Lowe, who passed away July 7, played a far greater role, bridging the reggae and Rastafarian culture of his native Jamaica with diverse audiences wherever he went, both with Big Sugar and as a prominent member of numerous other bands. And whenever a Jamaican star visited Toronto, Lowe was almost always there onstage, laying down his deep groove. “For a while, it seemed that Garry was the only reggae bass player in the world,” recalls Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson, commenting on Lowe’s ubiquitous presence was on the Toronto scene. “I’m sure when Garry join...
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Music Review: Sting & Shaggy - 44/876

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It’s an unlikely pairing—one is a member of English rock royalty, the other a Jamaican superstar—but it works. “We both have ridiculous names,” jokes Sting, born Gordon Sumner, while Shaggy, born Orville Burrell, cites the two musicians’ shared love of reggae music as the bond. The pair’s island-inspired album, named after the British and Jamaican dialling codes, is a sunny delight. It opens with the title track, a dancehall number featuring Shaggy, best known for hits like “Oh Carolina” and “Boombastic,” toasting about rice and peas and Sting singing about Bob Marley. There are moments of genuine fun, on the infectious “Don’t Make Me Wait,” and of pure drama, on the courtroom-themed “Crooke...
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Music Review: Hollie Cook - Vessel of Love

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  Cook is one of best current proponents of lover’s rock, the romantic reggae offshoot. On her third album, the English singer injects plenty of dreamy tropical vibes into feel-good numbers like “Stay Alive,” a perfect showcase for her breezy voice, and the horn-driven “Angel Fire,” which conjures up visions of sensuous nights on a moonlit beach.
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Feature Article: Snow - Snow business

Feature Article: Snow - Snow business
As a teenager growing up in the housing projects of north Toronto, Darrin O’Brien did not seem to have much of a future. An indifferent student from a working-class family, he spent much of his time drinking, fighting and getting caught on the wrong side of the law. His police record includes several convictions—for mischief, causing a disturbance and assault. Aside from his skill as a street fighter, O’Brien's only talent was mimicking the thick Jamaican dialect that he heard on reggae records and in his predominantly West Indian neighborhood. Then, in 1989, when he was 19, a brawl involving butcher knives sent him to jail on charges of attempted murder. But prison proved to be a turning po...
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