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Old 04-30-2009, 11:36 AM   #1
charlene
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Default Richmond VA article-4-30-09

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/ent...200210/264702/

Folk-music legend Gordon Lightfoot bringing tour to Richmond

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
At: Landmark Theater, 6 N. Laurel St.
Tickets: $38.50-$48.50
Info: (804) 646-4213 or http://www.ticketmaster.com

BY BILL CRAIG SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Published: April 30, 2009

While "legend" and "icon" labels are dispensed pretty freely these days, Canada's Gordon Lightfoot has earned them both, as well as most any other superlative that comes to mind, with an almost five-decade career of folk-music singing and songwriting.

The roots of that career can be traced to California's Westlake College, where the central Ontario native spent a year studying jazz composition.

"There were four or five us from high school who were really into jazz," Lightfoot said by phone from Toronto. "I was getting out of high school and wanted to learn how to write music. I saw an ad for a contemporary music school and talked to my parents about it. It didn't cost very much, which was a good thing, because we didn't have very much."

So how did Lightfoot move from studying jazz to becoming one of his generation's most-recognized folk musicians?

"How did I get off into folk music? I don't know. Maybe it was because I wasn't good enough to be a jazz musician. I just wanted to learn how to write."

Several decades later, the 70-year-old Lightfoot isn't doing much writing, but he's still a bit of a road warrior. He's scheduled to play about 70 shows during 2009.

"The touring's been picking up over the past couple years. I've been getting good crowds, very enthusiastic ones. The band's really clicking, too. They love to perform as much as I do. Nobody seems to want to stop. It's how we make our living."

Not much moves off script during a Lightfoot performance. He promises that his 2 hour 5 minute show will start on time and include a 20-minute -- not 21 -- intermission.

Though the song order might change each night, the set list is drawn from about 40 or so Lightfoot tunes, including fan favorites such as "If You Could Read My Mind," "Sundown," "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and "Carefree Highway."

"I do the material I believe in. I've narrowed it down to the stuff that works best both on stage and for us. We've got it boiled down to a pretty nice mix," he said.

Lightfoot has no immediate plans to retire his tour bus, but he also has no plans to return to the recording studio.

"I concluded all my recording obligations by 1998. I'd been under contract for 33 years. I could have re-signed, but I decided to stay away from it because I actually enjoy doing the shows a lot more than the recording," he said. "Recording is such a time-consuming effort, and it's such an insolating thing. You have to withdraw and be away from people. It has actually affected the course my life has taken just from devoting too much time to it."

Though Lightfoot's music has influenced scores of musicians and songwriters, he prefers to talk about the people who inspire him: Bob Dylan, Ian Tyson and Jack Elliott.

"They're still writing. I'm inspired by their work ethic and how they stay alive in the business and stay motivated," he said.

Speaking of motivation, Lightfoot is finding his in a nonmusical pursuit.

"I've been motivated by many things through the years, but right now, it's going to the gym. I do that a lot," he said. "It builds my energy level, and it comes to the fore when I get out on stage. I get a bit of an adrenaline rush when I perform in front of an audience."
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:50 AM   #2
RM
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Default Re: Richmond VA article-4-30-09

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Originally Posted by charlene View Post
He's scheduled to play about 70 shows during 2009.
Wow. If that number is correct I will continue to hold out hope that he will make his way to my parts.
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Richmond VA article-4-30-09

He's been saying 70 (or more) for awhile now. With only the Massey dates announced for the Fall, I think what we are waiting for is the rest of the "Fall Tour" ...
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:08 PM   #4
charlene
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Default Re: Richmond VA article-4-30-09

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Wow. If that number is correct I will continue to hold out hope that he will make his way to my parts.

ok - I am not saying a thing..not a thing. nope..not me.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:38 PM   #5
New 12 String Mike
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Default Re: Richmond VA article-4-30-09

Well,

I'm going to make this show. I'm looking forward to it.

And there's a couple of guitar things I'm hoping to catch.
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:26 PM   #6
RM
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Default Re: Richmond VA article-4-30-09

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ok - I am not saying a thing..not a thing. nope..not me.
Ma'am,

You are correct. "my part of the country" would have been a better choice of words. Please kindly remove your mind from the gutter.......
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