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Old 04-10-2010, 02:39 AM   #1
charlene
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http://www.ottawacitizen.com/enterta...068/story.html

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” Gordon Lightfoot joked from the stage of the National Arts Centre’s Southam Hall last night, quoting a line that Mark Twain used when news of the author’s death went out on the telegraph more than a century ago.

In the case of Lightfoot’s supposed demise, the news went out on Twitter a few weeks back.

In the space of about an hour, fans of Canada’s folk-music legend went through a rollercoaster of emotions, from shock to grief to elation when it became apparent that it was all a big, erroneously reported mistake.

Still, there’s nothing like a death scare to revitalize a veteran artist’s career. The notion that a national treasure such as Lightfoot might not be around forever seems to have renewed interest in the man and his music.

Radio stations are playing his songs again and fans are showing their love by buying concert tickets.

During the first of two nights at the National Arts Centre, Lightfoot admitted with a grin that he was getting a lot of mileage out of the hoax.

He was good-natured about it, though, and didn’t let it distract him from his mission to share as many of his songs as humanly possible.

In dark jeans, dressy boots and a blue shirt, his hair still fairly long, Lightfoot was not overdressed for the occasion. He began promptly, nipping through Did She Mention My Name, Carefree Highway and Sea of Tranquility before pausing to greet the audience in rudimentary French. “Comment allez-vous?” he said, adding “you are wonderful” to express his appreciation.

On acoustic guitar, Lightfoot performed with his longtime bandmates, including Terry Clements on electric guitar, Rick Haynes on bass, Barry Keane on drums and Mike Hefferman on keyboards.

Their ensemble playing was restrained, but impeccable, a perfect vehicle to keep the songs moving along.

Unfortunately, the 71-year-old singer-songwriter was not in peak form vocally, at least not during the first half of the concert.

His distinctive voice seemed thin and wavered at the top end, a weakness that was particularly evident in A Painter Passing Through. Coupled with a tendency to mumble some of the lyrics, the going was a bit rough at times.

Even strong, familiar songs like Rainy Day People and Sundown seemed undersung, with Lightfoot barely making himself heard over the band, despite their subtle touch.

However, there were a couple of highlights in the first set, including a lovely treatment of Beautiful and the newly rejigged version of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Lightfoot changed a line in the anthemic song in light of new evidence that’s been discovered about the Lake Superior shipwreck.

“I’m happy that National Geographic did this documentary that proves the Edmund Fitzgerald broke in half. So that means I had to change a line,” Lightfoot said.
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:03 PM   #2
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OTTAWA SUN review
http://www.ottawasun.com/entertainme.../13534186.html
Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lightfoot's remarkable career shines at NAC
Last Updated: April 9, 2010 11:15pm

Gordon Lightfoot performing at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Friday April 8,2010. (ERROL MCGIHON/THE OTTAWA SUN) Gordon Lightfoot is every bit as durable as his best songs.

Despite rumours of his death in the media last month, the 72-year-old singer-songwriter proved to be in the best concert shape he’s been in in years Friday night at the National Arts Centre, where he played the first of two shows. Though he appeared physically frail, even forgetting familiar song lyrics now and then, there were many flashes of the old Lightfoot magic.

Okay, his voice isn’t what it used to be. It hasn’t been since he almost died eight years ago of an abdominal aneurysm in 2002, which was followed by a minor stroke in 2006. But what Lightfoot’s concert lost in pure musicality, it gained in the emotion of a once formidable singer now frail, performing with dignity and humour near the end of an extraordinary career.

Arguably the greatest English singer-songwriter this country’s produced, a rake-thin Lightfoot received an early standing ovation for just making the gig, which he opened with Did She Mention My Name, his once golden voice now barely rising above a whisper. Then he had to go fishing for the high notes on Carefree Highway. Yes, you could see him fishing, but he caught virtually every note.

Lightfoot is a master vocal technician who knows how to adeptly cover all the vocals he can’t do any more as on 14 Karat Gold and A Painter Passing Through.

It might have been the quietest concert I’ve ever been to, as Lightfoot didn’t talk much, and when he sang it was like a whisper while his constant band — guitarist Terry Clements and bassplayer Rick Haynes, who have been with Lightfoot for 40-plus years, with drummer Barry Keane and keyboard-player Michael Heffermen, played soft and low. We’re so used to volume at these shows, it was a pleasure to hear a show the way the musicians hear it.

“Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” Lightfoot joked as if he was getting the last laugh.

As with his previous concerts at the NAC in 2006 and 2008, it took Lightfoot a while to warm to the task of singing, but when he settled, he was unstoppable. Let It Ride, Rainy Day People and Sundown among others sounded strong and he was able to close the first half with a faithful take of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

After a short break, Lightfoot continued to mix recent songs with must-play standards, including Cotton Jenny, If You Could Read My Mind and Early Morning Rain, songs that encapsulate a remarkable career.

He plays the NAC Saturday night as well.

denis.armstrong@sunmedia.ca
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:14 PM   #3
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Thanks,Char, for posting articles! Have had great good. fortune to be at both NAC concerts, as well as Quebec and Montreal. How fun to hear him saying "comment allez-vous" and "merci". I was still saying merci even after getting to Ottawa. Will post missing setlists asap. Going home now, by way of T.O.and Vancouver. Thanks, Canada!
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:42 PM   #4
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I went to the concert last night and it is obvious Gord enjoys the concerts, finished the concert with Old Dan's record which is a great song which i have not heard live for a while.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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Went to the Ottawa concert last night the concert ended with Old Dan's Records which is a great song and i have not heard it live for a while. Played a few of the lesser known songs which was nice.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:57 AM   #6
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The argument on this newsgroup now always seems to be that people who believe Gord's voice is gone are the bad gys, they don't get it, etc. It is obvious from these two articles that the general listening audience just can't understand the man any longer. I care about Gord and the music and I, as a fan, want to see his legacy remain intact. Here is what I wish could happen. One last big Massey Hall gig. Gordon could take a year off, get his voice rested up, then hire an orchestra, back-up singers and bring back John Stockfish and Pee Wee for a last series of shows. It would make for a wonderful DVD and would leave a lasting impression of greatness, which the man truly deserves. If he continues and his reputation for having no voice spreads, he'll be lucky to play a casino bar, a la The Band. I know that I'll get lambasted for this post. I just wish folks here would not pretend Gord sounds like he did ten years ago. The concerts just aren't that great any more.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:56 AM   #7
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Nobody is a 'bad guy' for voicing their opinions. We all have our own level of what we deem to be a voice that struggles with certain songs and a voice that has changed but still captures us with the nuances and yes age that a voice will have with age and bad choices for over 50 years.
Do I wish he had the voice of 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago.. Yes I do.
I'd give anything for that.
But he doesn't have that voice and over the course of 2 hours and 28 songs if there's a few that cause me (and I am sure Gord himself) some discomfort to listen to they are well worth the emotion and lived in sensibilities that the voice of today brings to the other songs in the setlist.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:01 AM   #8
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"Dream on" Mr. Spocksbrain. You know that will never happen. BTW, I don't totally disagree with your idea except for the one last gig thing...THE SHOW MUST GO ON! (or something to that effect).

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Old 04-14-2010, 10:37 AM   #9
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I hope no one gets me wrong. I love the music and the body of work, and the way the band plays these days. But, I have been to two shows recently where all the electric guitar effects were cut back and the tempos slowed to make way for the voice. It is also painful and strange to hear the awkward phrasings on some of the songs. I am a big fan of Gord's later work and the voice that goes with it. Waiting For You is one of my favorites. But even that voice has faded.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:40 AM   #10
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And by the way Char, you have a great voice.

Anyone who wishes can check out my new cover of IYCRMM at http://workshopsoundproductions.com/MusicSamples.html
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:47 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=spocksbrain;161095]And by the way Char, you have a great voice. QUOTE]

?????
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:47 PM   #12
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I misread your post Char. I thought you were lamenting about your voice. Whoops. I've heard some of your recordings and I was complimenting your style and delivery.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:57 PM   #13
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Chrsitopher...still not sure what you refer to..I don't sing...and we're all the better for it... and I'm not chEr..lol
who should be getting the kudos??
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:35 PM   #14
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real nice production and vocal delivery on IYCRMM, spocksbrain...i was hopinh you would actually nix the strings riff but you indeed honoured the GL recording...would like to hear more

good discussions, i mainly go to be in the company of other GL fans and to hear GL banter between songs...there are still many tunes that come across nicely, imo

i will post a little poll to see how diverse our views are regarding setlist items
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:28 PM   #15
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well yes one can argue for ages about the voice, but it is a fact that
Gord can still cause the hairs to raise on the back of your neck on several songs. My personal favourites for some time have been "Let It Ride" and
"Restless", now joined by the magificent adaptation of "If Children Had Wings",
Sorry to preempt your setlist posting Mandolin-Ann (I tried to spot any corfiddlrders in the NAC bit missed you there obviously)
Ottawa 10 April
National Arts Centre
1 Triangle
2 Did She Mention My Name
3 14 Karat Gold
4 Never Too Close
5 A Painter Passing Through
6 Rainy Day People
7 Let it Ride
8 Medley Spanish Moss/Shadows
9 Beautiful
10 Carefree Highway
11 Cotton Jenny
12 Medley Ribbon Of Darkness/Sundown
13 Hangdog Hotel Room
14 Alberta Bound

1 The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
2 Ring Neck Loon
3 Don Quixote
4 If Children Had Wings
5 In My Fashion
6 Make Way For The Lady
7 If You Could Read My Mind
8 Fine As Fine Can Be
9 Restless
10 Baby Step Back
11 Canadian Railroad Trilogy
encores
12 Song For A Winter's Night
13 Old Dan's Records
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:54 AM   #16
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Char,
I guess I have you confused with Cathy Cowette. I was reading some older posts and found that she's the one I was probably thinking of. Sorry.

Chris
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:39 AM   #17
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oh how i wish I could sing like Cathy!
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:45 AM   #18
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Ah, but you are the one who had the honor of the man calling your phone. Maybe that's a good trade-off.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:06 PM   #19
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That's quite a superlative version, very well done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spocksbrain View Post
And by the way Char, you have a great voice.

Anyone who wishes can check out my new cover of IYCRMM at http://workshopsoundproductions.com/MusicSamples.html
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:25 PM   #20
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I've been a bit of a broken record on this, but I really think Gord's sound system is not doing him justice. The low sound levels make his voice sound weaker than it is. Hearing him with a decent system in Niagara Falls a couple of years ago, he sounded a lot better. Just turn up the mic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spocksbrain View Post
I hope no one gets me wrong. I love the music and the body of work, and the way the band plays these days. But, I have been to two shows recently where all the electric guitar effects were cut back and the tempos slowed to make way for the voice. It is also painful and strange to hear the awkward phrasings on some of the songs. I am a big fan of Gord's later work and the voice that goes with it. Waiting For You is one of my favorites. But even that voice has faded.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:12 PM   #21
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the sound system in Peterborough and last night in Hamilton were excellent..his voice could be heardwith no problem!
from a hockey rink to a fine hall - and both had terrific sound.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:22 PM   #22
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From an old thread subject:-
Re: Gord @ La Cave, Cleveland OH 1965
which I stumbled upon yesterday whilst searching for something else
I read these words from Val
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlmagee View Post
I haven't downloaded this, but from the existance of the those two tracks I am assuming that it's the concert bootleg (which I have on cassette somewhere ...). The tracks from the lps are just the songs; sometimes that is what you want to listen to. The concert has all the between songs commentary, and for us Lightheads that can often add much to our enjoyment. His 2 3/4 minute (total) monologue before and after Echoes of Heroes is priceless.

that plus the view from one of our Ottawan (Ottawarian??) hotel windows

showing the war memorial half way between the hotel and the National Arts Centre venue
(The area around the Memorial no doubt looks considerably different now to how it appeared when Gord was there in 1965.To get to the venue we had to walk over a new and very elegant bridge marked 2000 and the War Memorial Wiki states that in"1982 it was rededicated to include the Second World War and the Korean War."at La Cave Gord said that at the time he was there there was a separate memorial for World War Two)
reminded me that there are probably many readers of this thread who, like Kathy Kramer to whom I was talking about that song inToronto last November, have never heard the La Cave recording and that "priceless monologue". For them right click this link then "Save Target As"
http://johnfowles.org.uk/LIGHTFOOT/Extra_Rare/04_Echoes_Of_Heroes.mp3
There is also a plain demo version of the song on the Warner Demos album
Blackberry John's thread starter had said
"These recordings were released split in two, incomplete at the now very hard to
find bootleg albums "Yellow Bird" and "Get Together" on Koala records."
I managed to win a good copy of theYellow Bird vinyl on Ebay last year.
Some years ago I was in email contact with the Cleveland Ohio Lightfoot fan who had acquired a good copy of the La Cave owner's original recording and he authorised me to promulgate an edited version of the story he told me of how and why he was able to pass a copy of that tape to Koala Records in 1978 in order for them to issue the two albums as the basis of an elaborate US tax evasion scheme it makes I think fascinating reading.
I have the text available as a Microsoft Word document but am not going to post any of it here or provide a hyperlink to it .If anybody would like to read it just send me a Private Mesage and I'll send you a link


 
 

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