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.
Web Design & Digital Marketing

Juno's New Rising Stars

The Juno Awards turn 50 this year. Canadian music has evolved dramatically in that half century, embracing new styles and cultures with the country’s changing demographics. Some of the freshest new sounds in Canada have come out of the Toronto area and its diverse African, Middle Eastern and South Asian communities. Here are some of the new rising stars. Ali GatieBorn in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to Iraqi parents, Ali Gatie and his family settled in Mississauga, where he first started making music. Inspired by singers like J. Cole and Frank Ocean, he began to make his own romantic brand of “bedroom pop,” going viral with songs like “Moonlight” and “It’s You” and his latest EP...
Continue reading
  122 Hits

The thrilling blues of Luke & the Apostles

Starting in the mid-1960s, Luke & the Apostles—a quintet fronted by the Mick Jagger-like Luke Gibson—were packing Yorkville’s Purple Onion night after night. Although guys were drawn to the Apostlesʼ raw covers of songs like “Crossroads,” “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and “You Canʼt Judge a Book,” girls were drooling over the sight of Gibson.Off-stage, Gibson was shy and quiet, but on-stage, he was transformed into a writhing, shaking, screaming package of pure sexual energy. With his curly hair and boyish good looks, Gibson was the bandʼs biggest asset. But the Apostles—guitarist Mike McKenna, keyboardist Peter Jermyn, bassist Jim Jones and drummer Rich McMurray—sounded good enough t...
Continue reading
  367 Hits

Mod Club memories

Far too many Toronto music venues have been dying, with owners falling victim to the double whammy of prohibitive rents and crippling taxes. The covid pandemic is just the latest nail in the coffin. First hit were the clubs; now it’s concert halls.The news that the Mod Club is closing has hit the music community especially hard. The 700-capacity concert hall in Little Italy,  at the corner of College and Crawford streets, was the perfect size for mid-level international acts and local artists whose stars were on the rise. It boasted brilliant sight lines, state-of-the-art lighting and exceptional sound and became one of the venues of choice for the Canadian Music Week and North By North...
Continue reading
  379 Hits

Remembering Toronto's Colonial Tavern

The illustrious history of Toronto's famous Colonial Tavern, once one of North America's top music clubs, is now etched into the sidewalk at 203 Yonge Street on a fabulous granite disc, thanks to the Downtown Yonge business association and MOD Developments. The disc, which features the names of over 130 artists who performed at the Colonial, was unveiled on Oct. 29, 2020.So many Canadian artists—of all genres— played Toronto’s storied Colonial, from Cy McLean & his Rhythm Rompers (who broke Yonge Street’s colour barrier in the late ‘40s) to The Viletones (who simply tore up the place in the ‘70s).Through the 1950s and into the '60s, the world's top jazz artists played the Colonial, inclu...
Continue reading
  474 Hits

Jackie Shane - Toronto's answer to Little Richard

The North American rhythm-and-blues circuit of the 1950s and ’60s had a surprising number of artists pushing gender boundaries. Macon, Georgia’s Little Richard, who’d once performed as Princess Lavonne in a traveling tent show called Sugarfoot Sam's, was certainly the best known. But Richard was heavily influenced by Esquerita, a flamboyant and feminine pianist from New Orleans. Also from New Orleans were two other artists who were gay or transgender or nonbinary: Patsy Vidalia, born Irving Ale, hosted the city’s legendary Dew Drop Inn and recorded as Pat Valdelar; and gay soul singer and impresario Bobby Marchan regularly switched between male and female clothing—complete wit...
Continue reading
  615 Hits