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Gordon Lightfoot 

When: Sat., May 9 2009
Price: $52, $42, $32
Gordon Lightfoot’s come a long way from his start in barbershop quartets. The beating heart of the Canadian folk scene, Lightfoot’s influence stretches across international borders, blurs genres, and factors into some of the most enduring music of the 20th century. The singer/songwriter perfected the melding of poetry and music in the ’70s. Gems like the 1971 hit “If You Could Read My Mind” and 1976’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (about an ore vessel that sank on Lake Superior) set the stage for future storytelling troubadours like the Tragically Hip and Decemberists’ Colin Meloy. Lightfoot was even name-checked by Bob Dylan as one of his favorite songwriters, and he’s one of the most widely-covered artists in the world. Elvis Presley, Sarah MacLachlan, and the Butthole Surfers are just a sampling of the diverse musicians who have put their fingerprints on his songs. Now, at 70 years old, Lightfoot’s experiencing a mini-comeback. His deep croon crackles a bit more, but, like Johnny Cash, the weighty symbolism behind his most famous songs is speaking to a generation looking for clarity and clinging to music’s dying breed: the true gentleman. —Andrea Warner
click to enlarge gordon_lightfoot2008_resized.jpg


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