banner.gif (3613 Byte)

Corner.gif 1x1.gif Corner.gif
1x1.gif You are at: Home - Discussion Forum 1x1.gif
Corner.gif 1x1.gif Corner.gif
      
round_corner_upleft.gif (837 Byte) 1x1.gif (807 Byte) round_corner_upright.gif (837 Byte)
Old 12-03-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
charlene
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,595
Default Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

http://www.saultstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3392954

You Are What I Am

Lightfoot tribute act tickled about seeing master in his homeland

By Jeffrey Ougler

It's not like Gordon Lightfoot plans to pluck Mike Fornes and his buddies from the audience Monday night and invite them on stage to do backups on Baby Step Back.

The legendary Canadian songsmith won't even likely acknowledge the presence of his "special guests" during the Essar Centre performance.

"No no. We wouldn't even want to do that," said Fornes late last week from his Mackinaw City, Mich., home.

Fornes is the frontman for Whispers of the North, a Lightfoot tribute act, which, according to its leader, has received the Canadian balladeer's blessing.

"We're just there to admire."

And meet.

The five-man outfit is invited to greet Lightfoot and his band after the show, mind you not to just press flesh and pass on compliments.

Technical queries will no doubt be pitched.

Whispers of the North's keyboard player, George Krawczyjk, recently acquired an instrument nearly three decades old.

"It's new to him, but it's the exact keyboard that Mike Heffernan plays with Gord's band," Fornes said.

'"He's going to be checking out some esthetics, trying to find out some things about how to program it."

And lead guitarist Todd Golnick was a "huge" fan of the late Terry Clements, Lightfoot's long-time axeman, who died last February at 63.

This time around — Fornes and some of his posse have crossed paths with Lightfoot's gang about a half-dozen times — he'll get to talk shop with Carter Lancaster, Lightfoot's new lead guitarist.

The big treat tonight for the Michigan-based act is having each Whispers of the North member in attendance to experience Lightfoot in his homeland.

"That's what's real for us," Fornes said.

"It's like we're going into the motherland to meet this guy."

Fornes, 58, who by day is a staff writer for the Cheboygan Daily Tribune, has been a Lightfoot admirer for years, as have his bandmates.

Canadian music, it seems, has always tickled Fornes's fancy.

"When I was in high school, I had a garage band and wanted to play The Guess Who ... That's what we did," said Fornes, who hopes to eventually bring the tribute north of the 49th parrel.

"It was just kind of a northern thing. That's the music we listened to regardless of which side of the border you were physically on."

Whispers of the North, which celebrates is fifth anniversary as an active musical outfit in January, came about thanks to what were, at the time, tough times for The Opera House in Cheboygan, Mich., due to what Fornes branded as state cutbacks to the arts.

A number of local musicians lent their talent at no charge for a concert fundraiser.

"I just got a bunch of people, who I thought were really good musicians, and we said, 'Hey, we're going to do a tribute show to Gordon Lightfoot.' We packed the place," Fornes said.

An encore performance followed one year later.

"The guys said, "You know, this is a lot of work for playing once or twice. We should get out and do this.' "

Along with holding down day jobs — Golnick, for example, is a detective lieutenant with the Cadillac Police Department — Fornes and other members Chuck Kopp (drums) and John Riemer (bass), played 27 shows, so far, this year in Michigan and have 32 gigs on the books for 2012, a figure the group's leader expects to see increase.

"We're not a bar band," Fornes said.

"The only places we really try to play are theatres. Our theatre schedule is the exciting thing."

Whispers of the North, Fornes said, takes itself seriously as a true tribute to the Lightfoot package, so much so band members actually advertise as portraying corresponding musicians.

For example, the bio feature on Whispers of the North's webpage reads, "John Riemer as Rick Haynes. Bass guitar."

"We really enjoy putting on the whole thing ... the stage set, the whole nine yards of what you get in the Lightfoot experience, which is kind of unique," Fornes said.

"It's different than a lot of concerts."

Few details are overlooked.

"We pay attention to things like lighting, set design ... We try to do things that are very similar to what they do," said Fornes, who looks after lead vocals, as well as six- and 12-string guitars.

"The average fan probably doesn't even realize that's what we're doing. But the real aficionados who have appeared at our shows ... That's the best compliment when they come up and say 'Wow, that was dead on.' "

Whispers of the North's repertoire contains some 60 songs essentially spanning Lightfoot's more than five-decade career.

"You've got the big 10 you're going to hear anytime," Fornes said.

"Then you've got the other things, the real Lightheads really like to fuss about."

Fornes, who conceded Lightfoot isn't an easy act to follow, said Whispers of the North seeks to portray the original act as it appears now — from vocal delivery down to duds.

"I don't look like (Lightfoot) in the '80s," Fornes said. "I can't look 38. I don't look like the cover of (the 1970 Lightfoot album) If You Could Read My Mind. I can't look like the cover of (1982's) Shadows."

Does Whispers of the North's frontman believe he physically resembles the man himself?

"I'll leave that to you," chuckled Fornes, whose current long locks mimic those Lightfoot was recently seen sporting as he toured Occupy Toronto, in support of his activist daughter, Meredith.

"I don't think so, but Gord has just given me a smile. The last time I saw him, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Michael, just keep on playing those songs.' "

As for the hair, "My wife is getting a little nervous," Fornes laughed.

What about aping the distinctive Lightfoot voice?

"I've had some people say they think it's pretty close," said Fornes.

"I think the more we do the show, the more we try to portray the role, try to portray the character."

As a listener, Fornes favours, overall, Lightfoot's 1980s contributions ("I like the real old stuff, but I like the Shadows era.").

But he fingers a 1970 classic as his all-time top song pick.

"I've always been captivated by If You Could Read My Mind. I never tire of hearing it. The words are just incredible."

Curiously, it's such ballads Fornes finds easiest to perform on stage, and "the faster stuff" more difficult.

"It's harder to sound like (Lightfoot) on Baby Step Back. It's harder to sound like him on Blackberry Wine than it is in the Canadian Railroad Trilogy ... For me, that is."
charlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
Cathy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,982
Send a message via AIM to Cathy
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

What? You mean to tell me some bunch of musicians had the gall to copy The Lightfoot Tribute Band... Ed, Derek, Matt & me? I'm shocked! Hey, do we get any of the royalties?
__________________
http://www.cathycowette.com
Cathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 12:36 AM   #3
charlene
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,595
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

right after Lightfoot takes his share...then you get yours..
charlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 01:44 AM   #4
Dave, Melbourne,Australia
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 515
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
Whispers of the North's repertoire contains some 60 songs essentially spanning Lightfoot's more than five-decade career. "You've got the big 10 you're going to hear anytime," Fornes said.
"Then you've got the other things, the real Lightheads really like to fuss about."
It would be interesting to compare one of their setlists with the songs Gord is performing these days.
Dave, Melbourne,Australia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 01:47 AM   #5
T.G.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 671
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Gee, I don't know ... would have been nice if Gord gave his nod to Sundown, our very own tribute band here ...
T.G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 06:30 AM   #6
johnfowles
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: New Jersey U.S.A. ex UK and Canada
Posts: 4,860
Send a message via AIM to johnfowles
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy View Post
What? You mean to tell me some bunch of musicians had the gall to copy The Lightfoot Tribute Band... Ed, Derek, Matt & me? I'm shocked! Hey, do we get any of the royalties?
Err Umm Cathy you are plainly confusing the LTB mark 2 with the original "LTB" that also included Lori and Eric, not to mention (as I did not originally) a young lad name of I think Dan Thompson who you might know who played a mean bass throughout.
I will dig out their 2002 setlist when I get time tomorrow as it makes interesting reading as would WOTN's current selection.
__________________
"Sir" John Fowles Bt
Honorary Curator Bootleg Museum


(where Sir does not signify that I am a fully benighted Knight just a Bt which signifies a humble Baronet -?? read the wiki!)
I meant no one no harm
Once inside we found a curious moonbeam
Doing dances on the floor


Last edited by johnfowles; 12-04-2011 at 12:06 PM.
johnfowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 12:19 PM   #7
Cathy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,982
Send a message via AIM to Cathy
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

John, we did two concerts. I remember Lori being there. Dan played for one of them, although I don't remember which one. The same with Eric. I believe he played on the first one. The point was, I think we were one of the first tribute bands.
__________________
http://www.cathycowette.com
Cathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 12:26 PM   #8
Moosedog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Cheboygan, MI
Posts: 349
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Mike Fornes and Todd Golnick are super nice guys, as are the other band members. Mike lives not too far down the road from me, so I bump into him on occasion. Glad to hear they'll get to meet Gordon and the guys again. Sadly, I have to miss the concert because of my work schedule.
Moosedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 07:30 PM   #9
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,272
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

that's terrific that they replaced that other keyboard


many tribute acts and on this side of the border dating back to that late 60s

and one of them real early ones is a card carrying member here

i never saw a full tribute band until the mid 70s, cool name, Carefree Highway or was it Hi'way Songs

I think an appealing thing about the Hugh's Room and the 'news group' shows is that they have a variety of singers doing their favourites...and furthermore, that Cathy, Derek and co tribute was the first I'd heard of that was south of the border which seemed overdue.... someone should do in in the UK because it's the only way to get a small flavour of Gord over there!

Matt recorded some lovely takes for the lightfoot site Tribute CDs back in the 90s...I think Ed is also on there (he has an early collection of Gord songs on a tape collection that I frequently enjoy!)

btw, for those who don't know, Cathy has a wonderful tribute CD collaboration with Bob Doidge... I can't find the thread but I made a list of all the songs dedicated to Gord as well as the tribute CDs out there...the first I heard was George Hamilton IV..I'm looking at the LP right now, lol

it will be nice if Mike Fornes can pick the guitar (for the whack of songs that Gord picks on) as the band develops... someone commented that his voice would also suit a wonderful Roger Whittaker tribute (is there such an outfit?)

hey char, it looks like Kenyon might be joining in on the next tribute, fun

Last edited by jj; 12-15-2011 at 11:33 PM.
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 08:27 PM   #10
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,272
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.G. View Post
Gee, I don't know ... would have been nice if Gord gave his nod to Sundown, our very own tribute band here ...
lol, if he asked to join on stage i'd be running up the aisle and out onto Shuter St!


i like that they do Whispers of the North I have seen the set list somewhere and you get an idea in this montage:


(that first bit sounds especially great!)

seems these guys are really doing a fine job mimicking the current Gord act and even doing setlist stuff like Baby Step Back and Blackberry Wine (oh, hope we never do those)

i perceive that 'Sundown' (or whatever) is striving to give folks a chance to hear many, many songs that Gord doesn't play live, and are sung with a pre-WFY baritone voice....no drums or e-guitar...focus on pickin' & lyrics, melodies...plus some other great folk stuff for those who got dragged along and need a breather from the Gord stuff, lol


the more Gord songs played out there, the better
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 10:12 PM   #11
johnfowles
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: New Jersey U.S.A. ex UK and Canada
Posts: 4,860
Send a message via AIM to johnfowles
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy View Post
John, we did two concerts. I remember Lori being there. Dan played for one of them, although I don't remember which one. The same with Eric. I believe he played on the first one. The point was, I think we were one of the first tribute bands.
OK first of all I must thank Mr Google who quickly found for me
Val's webste web page at:
http://mageenet.org/LightfootTributeBand/
this is, as currently extant, primarily about the second pair of Caffe Lena concerts
held on April 25th and 26th 2003 the latter of which (for those who do not or never knew or like Cathy have evidently forgotten and she has a good medical excuse for that )
featured the second incarnation of the LTB starring
Cathy Cowette, Derek Kidd, and Ed Mullen, with Matt Carl
this was a successful follow up to the first held a year earlier when because IIRC Matt
could not attend Eric Greenberg stood in for him (sat in in fact) as shown in the photo on Val's site

Val's caption reads:-
L-R: Ed, Cathy, Eric, Derek, Lori, Dan
Caffè Lena, March 22, 2002
(Dan being Cathy's son)
For anybody here who does not know the story of this truly remarkable first GL Tribute Band there is a very good description of how it was formed at:-
http://mageenet.org/LightfootTributeBand/origins.shtml
__________________
"Sir" John Fowles Bt
Honorary Curator Bootleg Museum


(where Sir does not signify that I am a fully benighted Knight just a Bt which signifies a humble Baronet -?? read the wiki!)
I meant no one no harm
Once inside we found a curious moonbeam
Doing dances on the floor

johnfowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 10:42 PM   #12
Cathy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,982
Send a message via AIM to Cathy
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

JJ, it isn't exactly a tribute CD that me and Bob did. It's just a bunch of my favorite songs. It was supposed to be a demo CD, because at the time I was playing a few shows. It went so well that we just kept going until I had a full CD. They when I had the aneurysm, the studio sent me 2000 free copies. I ended up not paying a cent for anything. The cover of the CD was painted by Mom. It's on my website, but I don't know if the clips are working. Val is checking into it.
__________________
http://www.cathycowette.com
Cathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 11:10 PM   #13
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,272
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Wow Cathy

I thought I knew the details but didn't realize it happenedduring or just after the Grant sessions (the only control room I know where Doidge let's you smoke ... Maybe that's why Gord chose the studio for his last two album sessions!)

I never have Mac luck with dem real audio files. Ive heard but wanted to listen again to your fine Goodman cover! What are the odds: John sprinkles that one amongst the Gord selections also


thats a wonderful painting. Brings warmth to winter!
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 02:28 PM   #14
Cathy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,982
Send a message via AIM to Cathy
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

JJ, I recorded the CD in 2004, I think. Then I had to wait for them to produce and sent me the master, and for Mom to paint a picture. I then took a picture of the painting, resized it and changed the tint a bit, and I'm not even sure I sent it to Grant Ave. Val may have done it. I really don't remember. Anyway, all of that took some time. So it was produced after I had the aneurysm in August of 2005.

I would love to get together with you guys and play. Sounds like John likes the same music I do!

Cathy
__________________
http://www.cathycowette.com
Cathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2011, 03:33 PM   #15
Cathy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,982
Send a message via AIM to Cathy
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

The clips on my web site are now working. These are from the CD I recorded with Bob Doidge, at http://www.cathycowette.com . You can also see the CD cover that Mom painted.

Thanks,
Cathy
__________________
http://www.cathycowette.com
Cathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 10:20 AM   #16
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,272
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy View Post

I would love to get together with you guys and play. Sounds like John likes the same music I do!

Cathy
that would be cool, and furthermore i think you guys both diddle with celtic, east coast stuff (he does lots of that in his third set)... are you playing fiddle again?
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 05:15 PM   #17
Cathy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,982
Send a message via AIM to Cathy
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

I play the fiddle more than the guitar. Still doesn't make me any better at it!
__________________
http://www.cathycowette.com
Cathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2011, 01:04 AM   #18
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,272
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy View Post
I play the fiddle more than the guitar
so terrific that you've got the required dexterity back...way to go

i was going through some old stuff and realize it's 10.5 years since you were jamming with Kenyon and co

he hasn't let his talent or vitality slide one bit since i first met him...looks same also



i'd love to hear some GL arrangements with tasty fiddle/violin added...i've always enjoyed Anne Lindsay's interpretations...we miss her at the tributes
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2011, 12:20 PM   #19
lighthead2toe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: canada
Posts: 920
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Oh yea!

Now this really is my idea of havin' a good time!
Just firing up the old computer and being treated to this "can't get enough of this wonderful stuff."
Is it "easy to sin," or what?

Very tastefully put together JJ. That "SOO" finale showing the old vinyl turning away on the table is what ignites total meltdown for me.

A special treat to see Kenyon interweaving his journalistic skills with those cool licks there on the lead guitar. That boy's got talent.

And speaking of Anne Lindsay, she was in the studio of radio station CIUT in Toronto with Liam and I when we were guests on the late Rick Fielding's show "Acoustic Workshop." I recall us doing "Cherokee Bend" and several other Gord tunes with Anne coming in on the fiddle here and there.
Rick also interviewed her and she talked to him about her training etc. Lots of cool stuff.
I swear I have a recording of the show somewhere in the ever unyielding archive of Gord stuff that's tucked away somewhere in a box that's traveled from Toronto to Vancouver and back and now in a storage locker in Ottawa.
It will be listed as a "Priority" for me to deal with if we can ever finally get a place to settle here in Ottawa.

"What is mine I will share."

Stay loose.

RJ.
lighthead2toe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2011, 01:24 PM   #20
Cathy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,982
Send a message via AIM to Cathy
Default Re: Tribute band to meet Lightfoot

Kenyon has improved his lead playing a lot in the past 10 years. I think he could sit in with Gord's band and play lead to any tune Gord put out there. I played fiddle on one tune during our first tribute concert at Cafe Lena. I don't have a clue what song that was, though.

Cathy.
__________________
http://www.cathycowette.com
Cathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
downleft 1x1.gif (807 Byte) downright