Monday, May 5, 2008

Folk News

Folk News

I had the following information from Dick Plunk. If you can help please do so.

This year the Leukemia Cup marathon sailing race is on May 24th. My daughter and Son-in-law run the race at the Leatherlips Yacht Club in Columbus to raise money for the Leukemia Society. It is a 24 hour marathon race.

Like last year, they would like to have some live music for part of the event. But we will do it differently this year. Last year the musicians were kind of off in a corner and generally felt like "musical wallpaper". This year, we plan to have music during dinner and after dinner (when it's dark and you can't see the race any more). We also plan to set up where most of the participants are congregated. Point being - the music will be more integrated and hopefully cause people to be more interested in it.

If you would like to volunteer to do a set of your music, please Email me at with time slots that you would prefer. This is a very worthy cause. Last year they raised over $6,000. I have to mention that it is gratis on our part, although some food will be available.

Thanks for your consideration,

Gordon Lightfoot

Here is an interview with Gordon Lightfoot by Kara Patterson over on Post

Canadian folk singer and songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, who broke into the music business four decades ago, is still going strong in the 21st century.

Lightfoot, 69, who lives in Toronto when he's not on tour with his four back-up musicians, performs 55 shows a year across North America. His most recent of 20 albums, "Harmony," was released in 2004. He's recognized in The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and also is a recipient of Canada's Governor General's Award, the country's highest official honor.
In advance of his March 30 concert at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in downtown Appleton, we chatted with Lightfoot about singing and songwriting. Read on to find out which song of his has deeply affected him.

Q: When did it hit you that you might want to become a musician?

Lightfoot: Very early on, I think perhaps by the time I was 19. I'd been singing all through school and church and the whole business. But I really didn't feel that I should go for it until I was about 19.

Q: What happened to make you hone in on that, that it might be your calling?

Lightfoot: I talked my parents into letting me go to a school in Los Angeles. I took an arranging course and when I went back to Toronto I got a job. … I was working transcribing songs off tapes and this guy heard me playing piano and singing and he said, what's the song. I said it's my song. I was working on a song on the piano. It was very interesting. He first became my mentor for three or four years. He even got me down to Nashville for a recording session. I had to go through a whole growing up period in the business itself, which took about 10 years. I started out as a singer and dancer on a television variety series. I really did not write a good song until I had written about 30 or 40 songs.

Q: What's your philosophy on music?

Lightfoot: I want something that's going to work on stage. If I'm writing something I'm always trying to write one that I can get up and play up on stage and believe in. If I can't begin to believe in the song … many songs have never been performed on stage. It's to make one feel real good about singing it and playing it. I always did that, long before I had a recording contract.

Q: Do you have a favorite of the songs you've done that is very meaningful to you?

Lightfoot: The one (song) that really has to mean the most is the real one, and that's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." It's a very powerful song to play on stage. You can feel the energy. I was on a roll and I was writing songs for a record and the event took place, and I had a melody and I had some chords and I got the newspaper articles and I got it into chronological order and I wrote a folk song about the sinking of a freighter in Lake Superior in a real bad storm. The next thing I knew I had a song. It means so much to so many people and it's been such a responsibility for me, too. We had an event for family members 10 years ago in … Michigan; we had over 800 people there. I always meet them. I meet them everywhere I go. We've sung the song everywhere.

Q: When you're not touring, do you spend most of your time writing songs?

Lightfoot: First of all, I go to the gym. I go to the gym a lot. And I practice, and I practice a lot. I run the business a lot. And I spend all the rest of this time looking after my five children … from age 14 to age 43.

Q: What advice would you give to up-and-coming songwriters and musicians?

Lightfoot: Get some songs, get a repertoire. Find the songs. Write the songs. Get songs. That's the first step, wherever you get them. Listen to CDs.

Q: Over your professional lifetime, who have been some of your influences?

Lightfoot: Bob Dylan is my main influence, main man. Not only do I appreciate his music a great deal but just because I know him personally. He and I were once managed by the same office, the same manager. I got to meet him that way. Wonderful writer, great guy. He's done somewhere between 50 and 60 original albums. That's really, that is a lot of work. Very, very prolific.

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