Floating World (label)
15 November 2023 (released)
15 November 2023
The world lost Gordon Lightfoot earlier this year and this seems a very appropriate album to remember him by.
Lightfoot was a fine songwriter, both a storyteller and a writer of love songs and over his long career he was cited as a mentor or an influence by the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Ritchie Havens, Gene Clark. His songs were covered by hundreds of artists including Streisand, the Grateful Dead, Scott Walker, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash … the list goes on and on.
Well recorded, this caught him at just about his creative peak although I find it a little surprising to see him at a Jazz festival.
He was a folk singer and is probably best remembered for ‘Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ as well as ‘Sundown’ and ‘Early Morning Rain’ but every one of the 19 tracks on this album seem to show another facet of this remarkable musician.
‘I’D Do It Again’ is the rockiest number here while ‘The Auctioneer’ is a bit of a joke song but shows amazing vocal dexterity. ‘Don Quixote’ is a personal favourite, beautifully presenting the Spanish Don in all his glory and decrepitude.
The sheer variety of Lightfoot’s songwriting is quite incredible and he has a fine voice and is no mean guitarist. The nearest that I would liken him to is either Bob Dylan or Al Stewart, but he is quite unique, and this is an excellent album.