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.

Nick's Picks of 2022

"Best of" lists are, frankly, silly. How can one possibly decide the finest work unless all works in that category are considered? When it comes to recordings, there simply aren't enough hours in a day (or even a year) to listen to everything that's been released. As the saying goes: so much music, so little time. Rather than declare these nine albums the best of the year, I'm calling them nine of my favourite recordings that I came across in 2022.        Warm Chris - Aldous Harding One of the most intriguingly inscrutable singer-songwriters working today, the New Zealand-born, Welsh-based Harding defies predictability, with a chameleon-like voice that changes in tim...
Continue reading
  521 Hits

Music Review: Neko Case - Truckdriver Gladiator Mule

Neko Case’s extraordinary journey from punk drummer and country torch singer to avant pop icon is well documented in this box set, which gathers her entire discography of eight titles on remastered vinyl and includes an 80-page book of photography. The collection features the American-born, Canadian-bred musician’s 1997 solo debut The Virginian, on vinyl for the first time, and her excellent 2004 live album The Tigers Have Spoken, recorded with Toronto’s The Sadies. There are a wealth of inspired covers, including the Everly Brothers’ “Bowling Green” and Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Soulful Shade of Blue,” and such stunning originals as “Hold On, Hold On” and “Near Midnight, Honolulu...
Continue reading
  2693 Hits

Feature Article: The Sadies and the Good stuff

Dallas and Travis Good have worked with Neil Young, author Margaret Atwood, Randy Bachman, Buffy Sainte-Marie and actor Gordon Pinsent. But it was another Canadian icon—one with whom they’ve yet to collaborate—who offered some crucial wisdom. It was 1996, when their band the Sadies was getting started, and Dallas’ and Travis’ father, Bruce, of bluegrass heroes the Good Brothers, was celebrating his 50th birthday at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern. Into the club walks Gordon Lightfoot, who’d had the senior Goods open for him during the 1970s. “Afterwards,” Travis recalls, “Lightfoot turned to us and says, ‘The only advice I’ll give you is do your own songs.’ We took heed and started getting rid of...
Continue reading
  4692 Hits

Feature Article: The Sadies - Polaris Music Prize

I was proud to present The Sadies at the 2010 Polaris Music Prize gala on September 21 at Toronto's historic Masonic Temple, where the group was short-listed for its stellar album Darker Circles. Here is my introduction to the band: The Sadies. Guitar-slinging brothers Dallas and Travis Good, bassist Sean Dean and drummer Mike Belitsky. Artists—from Gord Downie and Neko Case to John Doe and Neil Young—are unanimous in their praise of these guys. Critics, however, can’t seem to agree on how to describe the band. Are they alt-country mavericks or garage-rock revisionists? Space-rock cowboys or spaghetti-western revivalists? Fact is, The Sadies defy categorization. They draw from a gr...
Continue reading
  3454 Hits

The Sadies - In Concert: Vol. 1

Recorded at Lee’s Palace in Toronto, this double CD proves Neko Case right when she calls The Sadies “the best live band in North America.” The songs, a mix of covers and originals from the psychobilly band’s albums, are mostly played at breakneck speed, with Dallas and Travis Good pushing each other to frenzied heights. Guests include family bluegrass greats The Good Brothers, Blue Rodeo, Band organist Garth Hudson and Case herself, who graces seven tracks with her breathtaking vocals. A thrilling two-hour ride. Aug. 8
Tags:
  2387 Hits