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Old 08-20-2007, 10:14 AM   #1
imported_Next_Saturday
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Default Vail Daily News Review

http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20070819/AE/70819005

Age canít keep Gordon Lightfoot down


Sold out Vilar Center concert proves the folk star is still relevant




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Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
August 19, 2007

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Todayís kids would probably classify Gordon Lightfootís sound as ďelevator music,Ē but for those who grew up during the í70s, it means so much more than that. If there was some universal contest to name somebody the king of soft rock, Gordon Lightfoot would be very high in the running. His music is as menacing as a sleeping kitten, but that didnít stop him from selling out the Vilar Center in Beaver Creak Saturday night.

Lightfootís back-up band took the stage first, a modest looking group of older musicians. Then Lightfoot came out and humbly bowed. There he stood, dressed neatly in a white button-up shirt, vest, gray slacks and polished black shoes. His hair was combed back, his mustache neatly trimmed. The acoustic guitar strapped around his shoulders looked like the only thing that would keep a gust of wind from blowing him over. Then his unmistakable voice filled the theater, and even though it sounded worn and scratchy, it was a true testament to the decades heís spent giving it away to his fans who donít ever want him to stop singing for them.

Lightfoot is very good at making pop music. His trademark country-folk hybrid is very palatable to the ears of any listener, and his lyrics are engaging enough to keep the listener involved with the story. His band built the many layers of sound, taking a very basic melody and turning it into this rich blend of tones and harmonies that flowed from the stage.

Youíve got to hand it to the man, as simple as the formula may be, he has a way of making it oddly enchanting. It was hard not to be captivated by his music, he just comes off as so earnest and passionate about the material. This Canadian poet and musician obviously cares about what heís writing, and who heís writing it for.

Too old to be a god, and too ingrained in musicís history to be irrelevant, Lightfoot is firmly human while remaining immortal. During one of his songs he dropped his guitar pick. No big deal. Then he stopped the show completely, slowly bent over, and picked it up. The audience laughed, and so did he. Age canít keep the real ones down. Lightfoot has the spirit of a kid, and thatís something age canít take away. Rock star may never define Gordon Lightfoot, but with a career as solid and remarkable as his, I donít think he would have it any other way.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:57 AM   #2
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re: Too old to be a god, and too ingrained in music’s history to be irrelevant, Lightfoot is firmly human while remaining immortal.

By golly I think he's got it!..
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:51 AM   #3
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Great to read a review where the quality of his voice when compared to younger years is not an issue. And the line "Too old to be a god, and too ingrained in music’s history to be irrelevant" is a perfect summary of what was probably a great concert. And with the exception of one dropped guitar pick, likely a note-perfect performance as well. As usual.
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:15 PM   #4
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He's never too old for me...

wish I'd been there!!
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Old 08-20-2007, 02:14 PM   #5
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I just wish human beings weren't so fixated on "form".. and "classification", and "category".. etc.. "defining" everything to put into some nice neat little hole somewhere.. folk music, country music, elevator music.. 70's music.. etc.. etc.. people who don't even actually know how to PLAY an instrument, have the most intense, self-assured, and all-encompassing opinions about music.. ever notice that?.. These critics, they can pigeonhole Gord all they want: folk music, country music, elevator music, 70's music, whatever.. but I'm a musician for 30 years (as I know allot of you are) and I'm listenin to the albums and CD's, and I'm sittin out there in the audience, and I aint thinkin 'bout "form".. or "classification", or "category".. or the 1970's.. or whatever.. I aint even thinkin too much really (mostly I just FEEL it; I believe real art.. should be an emotional experience, and not necessarilly precisely intellectual, etc.. if at all).. but to the extent I AM thinkin, what I'm thinkin is, "This guy WROTE ALL THESE SONGS!.. and this SONGBOOK of his.. is absolutely incredible!"..
Great singer? Of course. Great guitar-stylist? Definitely. Fine entertainer? Hey, 40 years and still runnin; the proof is in the pudding. But the SONGS.. well, as I've said before, this stuff'll live on fer a hundred years.. easy..

Last edited by RJ; 08-20-2007 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:19 PM   #6
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Great article! Thanks iNS!
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:30 PM   #7
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Absolutely - well said, RJ!
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