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.
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Malka & Joso - Songs in Many Tongues

Long before the term “world music” became a popular catch-all for sounds from around the globe, Malka & Joso were singing songs in Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Creole French, Macedonian and Russian. During the mid-1960s, the handsome folk duo brought a distinctly international flavour to the Canadian folk scene, performing in coffeehouses and concert halls, at folk festivals and on television with their own weekly CBC program. Malka & Joso’s three albums for Capitol Records were the unlikely hits of the decade, outselling many of the label’s English-language albums.Malka Marom was born in Israel, the daughter of a cantor. Joso Spralja was born in the former Yugoslavia, the son of a fish...
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Lhasa de Sela - Exotic sounds steeped in melancholy

Nobody could accuse Lhasa de Sela of taking the easy route to stardom. The Montreal musician insists on singing songs entirely in Spanish at a time when other Quebecbased acts going for a wider audience—even francophone ones— have opted for English. Yet Lhasa’s exotic sound, steeped in melancholic Mexican ballads, has clearly struck a chord. The 25-year-old singer’s debut album, La Llorona, recently went gold in Canada with sales of 50,000 and earned her two Juno nominations, for best global album and best new solo artist Meanwhile, her performances have drawn rave reviews for their intense theatricality.Born in upstate New York to a Mexican father and an American mother, a teacher and photo...
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Music Review: Various artists - Music and Rhythm

The doldrums of contemporary popular music have led many artists to other cultures in search of inspiration. Increasingly, bands such as Talking Heads and the Police are incorporating African or West Indian rhythms into their sound. Just how rich and varied that mix can be is evident on Music and Rhythm, a double-record set featuring musicians from more than 15 countries. The “benefit” album was intended to offset the debts of the World of Music Arts and Dance (WOMAD), a large multicultural festival held in England last summer. The collection places rock musicians, from former Genesis singer and festival promoter Peter Gabriel to the Who’s Peter Townshend, alongside the primeval sounds ...
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Music Feature: Expeditions to pop's global village

On Naked, the latest album by rock’s influential New York City-based Talking Heads, leader David Byrne sings: “’Round and ’round and we won’t let go/And where we stop no one knows.” The song is “Ruby Dear,” and Byrne could well be referring to the new disc’s musical tour around the world. Recorded in Paris with a crew of international musicians, Naked reflects pop’s global village, where Congolese guitars meet Latin-style horns and ancient Middle Eastern melodies play off modern Western synthesizers. The result is one of the band’s best recordings. And by crossing a number of cultural boundaries, Naked signals a strong new trend toward international pop.Rock music ha...
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Music Feature: Around the World on a 45 rpm Disc

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” Mark Twain wrote.  It also has the power to awaken the senses.  In 1962, I was an innocent abroad, a white boy plucked from homogenous suburban Toronto and deposited in the tropical, northern Malayan town of Ipoh.  My father, born there during colonial times, had decided to move us to his hometown while he embarked on a writing project and explored his ancestral roots.  I can still vividly remember all the exotic smells, sights and sounds of the place.  A walk through Ipoh’s streets, past food stalls selling aromatic curries and spiky rambutans, dodging trishaw peddlers and pedestrians in sarongs and cho...
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