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Old 09-12-2011, 05:48 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,596
Default Lowell, MA interview

Lightfoot brings legendary voice to Lowell
By Ed Hannan, Sun Correspondent
Updated: 09/08/2011 06:36:17 AM EDT

If you could read Steven Page's mind, you would know that the Canadian native and former lead singer of Barenaked Ladies refers to Gordon Lightfoot as "a god" and "a legend."

That's but one of the many ways Lightfoot's peers refer to the Canadian singer-songwriter, whose biggest hits include "If You Could Read My Mind," "Sundown," "Rainy Day People" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

Robbie Robertson of The Band said Lightfoot was one of his "favorite Canadian songwriters and is absolutely a national treasure." Bob Dylan once said that when he heard a Lightfoot song, he wished "it would last forever."

Lightfoot's songs have been recorded by such icons as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Dylan, Barbara Streisand, Harry Belafonte, Glen Campbell, Anne Murray and Olivia Newton-John.

You can hear the legend himself on Sunday night when he plays at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. The show starts at 8. Tickets are $65, $50 and $40 and can be purchased by phone at 978-454-2299 or at

For his part, the 72-year-old Lightfoot demurs when told of how his contemporaries revere him. "I don't think about that at all. I only think of one thing, and that's the next show," Lightfoot said recently in a phone interview from his home in Ontario. The Lowell show is the second show of a 40-plus-city tour Lightfoot is taking this fall.

"We're not going out and doing the same show every



night. We've got it worked into a system where we won't let it get boring. Instead of doing the same show every night, we do two different shows." Each show has eight or nine songs that are played on one of the two nights. "We don't miss any of the ones we know we should be doing, such as 'Sundown' or 'Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' or 'If You Could Read My Mind'."
It's a two-hour show with no opening act but does include a 20-minute intermission in the middle. Lightfoot performs with a four-piece backing band. "The people love it. We do all the good stuff they want to hear, the hit songs we had, interspersed throughout the show, and many fine songs from the different albums, and the ones I feel will go over best with the audience. It's funny how it comes together. The ones they love the most are the ones we love playing the most."

Amazingly, even though he's been around since the 1960s, the tour will see Lightfoot playing four straight nights and then taking one night off. "The voice looks after itself. I spend more time working on instrumental work than my voice. My voice just comes to me by sound check. I spend all the time practicing my guitar."

Indeed, while Lightfoot has penned many chart-topping hits, "I always had a lot of doubts about my songwriting, but I love to play and sing. I've done it all my life, ever since I was a child."

See for yourself.

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