There are plenty of Gordon Lightfoot fans out there as attested by his ability to develop a touring schedule for 2020 having started his career back in the 1960s. Significant artists who have praised and been influenced by this Canadian songsmith include Johnny Cash, John Prine, Robbie Robertson and perhaps most famously, Bob Dylan. Lightfoot toured with Dylan including the 1975 ‘Rolling Thunder’ tour. Dylan has said, “Lightfoot became a mentor for a long time. I think he still is to this day” and recorded the Lightfoot penned ‘Shadows’.
An influential artist in the 1960’s folk scene, Lightfoot is best known for songs such as, ‘If you could read my mind’, ‘Sundown’ and ‘The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’, the lyrics of which are largely taken from a magazine article on the sinking of the said ship on Lake Superior. Combined in his songs are thoughtful and insightful lyrics, artful musicianship and a set of velvet vocal chords. Check out his self-penned version of, ‘Early Morning Rain’ which captures a raw emotionality not found in the, Elvis Presley and Peter Paul and Mary covers.
The canon: Lightfoot’s prodigious output includes 19 studio albums, 3 live albums, 16 Greatest Hits albums and 46 singles.
Key releases: Classic albums to savour include, ‘The way I feel’, 1967, ‘Don Quixote’, 1972 and ‘Sundown’ 1974. ‘The Way I feel’ includes the evocative lyrics from, ‘The Canadian Railroad Trilogy’: “There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run, when the majestic mountains stood alone against the sun”.
Lightfoot has endearingly said,” I am a little nuts, I am a lot nuts. All I know is that in the midst of the madness of this world, it’s my therapy. The music touches my heartstrings.”
If you are new to Lightfoot, take some time to ease some of that madness in his musical company.