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.

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig

They may be a string band, but Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson put a thoroughly modern spin to their rootsy sound. Actor-director Denzel Washington was so drawn to their music that he included it his 2007 film The Great Debaters. Whether delivering a banjo-driven r&b hit (“Hit ’Em Up Style”), a lightning-fast fiddle tune (“Sandy Boys”), an acapella Celtic ballad (“Reynadine”) or a Tom Waits tune (“Trampled Rose”), these Drops have really got it going on. Old-timey with a twist.  

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Nick's Picks of 2021

Here, in alphabetical order, are the artists who made some of my favourite music of 2021. These are the albums that excited me most and that I turned to again and again throughout the year. Some, like Adele, Rhiannon Giddens and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, are international musicians I’ve been following from the start of their careers. Others, like Arooj Aftab and Mdou Moctar, are more recent global discoveries. The rest all come from closer to home and stand alongside the best I’ve heard in the past 12 months. Adele - 30  England’s Adele has a habit of naming albums after her age. She also has a tendency to belt out ballads, the kind that huge numbers of people respond to, s...

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Music Review: Rhiannon Giddens - Freedom Highway

The talented singer-banjoist, currently starring in TV’s Nashville, is a previous Grammy winner and now has another Grammy nod as a solo artist. Her second album serves as a timely rallying cry in the worrying wake of the U.S. election, with soulful originals and the stirring title track, a cover of the Staple Singers’ 1965 civil rights anthem.

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Music Review: Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow is My Turn

The lead singer from Grammy winners Carolina Chocolate Drops makes a stunning solo debut, giving new life to songs as old as blueswoman Geeshie Wiley’s “Last Kind Words” and gospel legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Up Above My Head.” Rhiannon also lends her soulful voice to country classics, covering Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton.

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