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Old 05-13-2004, 11:04 AM   #1
Auburn Annie
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...

Tale of two Gords
Tunesmiths Lightfoot, Sampson unveil their latest works of art
By STEPHEN COOKE Soundscapes

THE PICTURE on the back of the new Gordon Lightfoot CD Harmony (Linus/Warner) must surely be a sly joke on the part of the Canadian folk icon.

It's simply a closeup shot of a pair of hands replacing broken strings on Lightfoot's trusty acoustic guitar, over the gaping soundhole in the middle of its body.

The similarity to Lightfoot's surgery to fix a wayward abdominal artery a year-and-a-half ago is inescapable, and typically poetic for Canada's greatest singer-songwriter - sorry, Leonard and Joni fans - in a profession where a good metaphor is a dearly cherished prize.

Not that Lightfoot is a mostly metaphorical songwriter like his contemporary and mutual admirer Bob Dylan, songs like Black Day in July and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald couldn't be more straightforward and literal, but it's a utility in his toolbox that comes in handy when needed. Like calling the record Harmony, a musical term that also serves as a synonym for peace, cooperation, understanding and perfection.

On the title track itself, Lightfoot is calling out to his muse, looking for inspiration and the comfort that it brings.

There are stirrings of deeper ideas, perhaps a relationship gone wrong or the singer's own efforts to get his health back on track after years of abusing it, but in interviews he's said the meaning is mostly musical, and he ought to know.

Lightfoot wrote these songs and taped his vocals and guitar before his brush with death, and orchestrated the final layers of recording during his recovery, so the thoughts of mortality that crop up in songs like the drifting River of Light or End of All Time are merely the product of advanced years.

End of All Time is more about the search for identity in the memory of a lost love, and the personal risks that may or may not have paid off, but there's also a confession of "thinkin' of things divine" and that moment when the end of all time becomes a moot point.

Lightfoot adopts an indigenous-sounding minor key on Couchiching, an ode to the lake that touches on his native Orillia, where "Casino Rama stands, where there once were only sparrows, people come from foreign lands."

But rather than express anger at this intrusion, he shrugs, time will ultimately make the lake the winner, when the people have long gone.

In his own liner notes, Lightfoot jokes about wanting to call the CD Soiled Linen, after the overstuffed hampers outside his hospital room, and the fact that this is the first record he ever completed on his back. He admits to a melancholy cast over much of Harmony, in songs like Clouds of Loneliness and Sometimes I Wish, but knowing that his sense of humour has survived his recent trials brings its own feeling of harmony to balance out the record in listeners minds.

[snip - Gord Sampson review]

From http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2004...nt214.raw.html
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:04 AM   #2
Auburn Annie
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...

Tale of two Gords
Tunesmiths Lightfoot, Sampson unveil their latest works of art
By STEPHEN COOKE Soundscapes

THE PICTURE on the back of the new Gordon Lightfoot CD Harmony (Linus/Warner) must surely be a sly joke on the part of the Canadian folk icon.

It's simply a closeup shot of a pair of hands replacing broken strings on Lightfoot's trusty acoustic guitar, over the gaping soundhole in the middle of its body.

The similarity to Lightfoot's surgery to fix a wayward abdominal artery a year-and-a-half ago is inescapable, and typically poetic for Canada's greatest singer-songwriter - sorry, Leonard and Joni fans - in a profession where a good metaphor is a dearly cherished prize.

Not that Lightfoot is a mostly metaphorical songwriter like his contemporary and mutual admirer Bob Dylan, songs like Black Day in July and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald couldn't be more straightforward and literal, but it's a utility in his toolbox that comes in handy when needed. Like calling the record Harmony, a musical term that also serves as a synonym for peace, cooperation, understanding and perfection.

On the title track itself, Lightfoot is calling out to his muse, looking for inspiration and the comfort that it brings.

There are stirrings of deeper ideas, perhaps a relationship gone wrong or the singer's own efforts to get his health back on track after years of abusing it, but in interviews he's said the meaning is mostly musical, and he ought to know.

Lightfoot wrote these songs and taped his vocals and guitar before his brush with death, and orchestrated the final layers of recording during his recovery, so the thoughts of mortality that crop up in songs like the drifting River of Light or End of All Time are merely the product of advanced years.

End of All Time is more about the search for identity in the memory of a lost love, and the personal risks that may or may not have paid off, but there's also a confession of "thinkin' of things divine" and that moment when the end of all time becomes a moot point.

Lightfoot adopts an indigenous-sounding minor key on Couchiching, an ode to the lake that touches on his native Orillia, where "Casino Rama stands, where there once were only sparrows, people come from foreign lands."

But rather than express anger at this intrusion, he shrugs, time will ultimately make the lake the winner, when the people have long gone.

In his own liner notes, Lightfoot jokes about wanting to call the CD Soiled Linen, after the overstuffed hampers outside his hospital room, and the fact that this is the first record he ever completed on his back. He admits to a melancholy cast over much of Harmony, in songs like Clouds of Loneliness and Sometimes I Wish, but knowing that his sense of humour has survived his recent trials brings its own feeling of harmony to balance out the record in listeners minds.

[snip - Gord Sampson review]

From http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2004...nt214.raw.html
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:37 AM   #3
Wes Steele
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Finally, someone said it....Say it...and don't make excuses for it.....

"Canada's Greatest Singer-Songwriter"....

Thanks for the post Annie...

Wes
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:48 PM   #4
muklucannie
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Canada's Greatest Singer Songwriter - never a doubt in my mind!
lol
always is, still is and always will be!
he's The Man...
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:48 PM   #5
Char1
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Canada's Greatest Singer Songwriter - never a doubt in my mind!
lol
always is, still is and always will be!
he's The Man...
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Old 05-13-2004, 03:45 PM   #6
SilverHeels
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<<and typically poetic for Canada's greatest singer-songwriter - sorry, Leonard and Joni fans >>

AT LAST! Recognition for Canada's Greatest!
Excellent review of 'Harmony' too.
Nice one!
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Old 05-14-2004, 11:08 PM   #7
Borderstone
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Who else would Canada's greatest songwriter be? Bryan Adams?????!! Love his stuff in the 80's,some 90's then he did a duet with Barbra You-Know-Who and I said,later Bry! GL all the way,everyday!

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"A knight of the road,going back to a place where he might get warm." - Borderstone
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