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 Review: Rufus Wainwright - Take All of My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets

Grandiosity comes naturally to Rufus. The acclaimed singer-songwriter has an unabashed love of dramatic music. In 2007, he recreated Judy Garland’s legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. His most recent album is a recording of his own opera Prima Donna. Now Rufus has embraced his love of Shakespeare, something he’s explored a little before. Actors Carrie Fisher, William Shatner and Helena Bonham Carter recite sonnets, while members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra back Rufus and his assortment of guest vocalists. Rufus and Austrian coloratura soprano Anna Prohaska offer male and female takes on “A Woman’s Face,” and his sister Martha Wainwright joins him on “Unperfect Actor.” Rufus even dips int...
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Rufus Wainwright - All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu

From the beginning, Rufus Wainwright’s star has shone brightly—almost blindingly so—in pop’s pantheon. His 1998 self-titled debut drew him comparisons to Stephen Foster and Cole Porter, while later albums were hailed for their wit and opulence. Openly gay, Rufus has never been a wilting violet. The son of songwriters Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, he grew up in a matriarchy after his parents divorced, with his mother, grandmother, aunt Anna and sister Martha and surrounded by music. “Emotions were always high-pitched in our house,” Rufus once recalled. “Breaking down and crying was almost mandatory.” Channeling those emotions helped to give Rufus’ career an extraordinary trajecto...
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Feature Article: The New Romantics - Ron Sexsmith and Rufus Wainwright

They are the sensitive boys of Canadian pop. Both are acclaimed singer-songwriters, and both are unabashedly emotional. One is gay, with an impeccable musical pedigree, while the other, a father of two, has some of rock's biggest stars singing his praises. And -- surprise, surprise -- both are closest to their mothers. They may not seem like groundbreakers, but Rufus Wainwright and Ron Sexsmith are creating a seismic shift in pop music, bringing tender songs from a male point of view back into the mainstream. Until recently, solo artists were almost all women. While record labels scrambled to find the next Fiona Apple or Joan Osborne, male singer-songwriters couldn't get a break. The reverse...
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Obituary: Kate McGarrigle - compelling songs, spellbinding harmony

Folksinger Kate McGarrigle left a deep musical legacy both in recordings with her older sister Anna McGarrigle and in her two children, singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright. Kate and Anna McGarrigle were revered for their heavenly harmonies and sensitive love songs, made famous by the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Maria Muldaur. Lavish praise greeted the Montreal duo's arrival in the mid-1970s, with the British and American press citing the intimacy of their voices and honesty of their songs. Along with critically lauded albums, the McGarrigle sisters each gave birth to musically talented offspring. Kate McGarrigle grew up bilingual, but, in many ways, music was her first ...
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