Mudcat Café message #462659 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34345   Message #462659
Posted By: GUEST,willie-o
15-May-01 - 08:38 AM
Thread Name: Thoughts on Gordon Lightfoot
Subject: RE: BS: Thoughts on Gordon Lightfoot
A tortured genius, I suppose. He has/had partial facial paralysis from a stroke I think. Not just smoking, but many years of heavy drinking have been rough on old Gord.

Lightfoot and Ian Tyson basically invented the Canadian singer-songwriter archetype. The tall lean lyrical poet, forever on the move, writing with very Canadian imagery, a lone wolf with a burden to bear, a superb composer and singer of tunes with nuanced melodies, but not a technically brilliant instrumentalist.

Lightfoot started in the fifties as a high school barbershop quartet singer. He switched to the folk scene during the early folk scare. You could almost call this opportunistic, since he was an ambitious young professional musician looking for an audience, but the results were fortunate.

Lightfoot used a lot more sophisticated chords and inversions than most 60's folkies. All those sixths and ninths. That combined with his lyric vision made his songs durable, and the jazz influence is what makes Tony Rice, among others, to cover Lightfoot songs. They're fun for guitar players as well as singers.

He's been out of the limelight since the seventies, but pops up now and then. Good to see him on the road again, he's one of the main guys.