Gordon Lightfoot has recorded 20 albums and has five Grammy nominations. His songs have been aired regularly for 50 years, earning him Radio Singles Chart Positions in North America achieved by few others. Lightfoot's radio hits in the USA have earned Five #1s, Five Top 10s and Thirteen Top 40 hits.

In Canada, he has earned Sixteen #1s, Eighteen Top 10s and Twenty One Top 40 hits. Aside from his success in writing, singing and performing his own songs, Lightfoot has found fortune in having his songs recorded and performed by other great artists including: Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jr., Marty Robbins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Judy Collins, Johnny Mathis, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Sarah McLachlan, Barbra Streisand, Peter Paul & Mary, Harry Belafonte, Jane's Addiction, Richie Havens, Glen Campbell, Toby Keith, George Hamilton IV and Eric Clapton.  

Catching up with Brooklyn art music songwriter and composer, Rebecca Brandt ...

We reviewed her first release, Numbers and Shapes in 2012. Rebecca Brandt: Numbers and Shapes . The record was nominated for a Grammy!

Here is her update:

As you know, I released my first record back in May 2012, and what you may not know is that it received a top-25 shortlist nomination at the 2013 Grammy Awards. A newly-formed label Green Village took notice and pitched the idea of curating a remix album based on the original pieces, and thus our new baby was born, Numbers & Shapes: Revisited. It features 14 remixes created by different producers and DJs from around the world, including Starkey, Policy, Liondub, Rabit and more. The project had no guidelines or expectations - we just wanted to create dance floor-driven tracks built off classical elements, to try to challenge and play with the rules of genre and have some fun.

"I just can't wait for this record ... When I was expecting for a North African, more exotic trip, Robert goes back home, to his celtic roots ... I love this soooooo much!" (Adriana, BBR Facebook Page).

"It takes me back to his Fate of Nations days. Really haunting but good." (Michelle, Led Zeppelin Ultimate Fan Page).

Readers and listeners worldwide are in a buzz of discussion about Robert Plant's new single, "Rainbow." This song is the first release from the highly anticipated record, lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar. Nonesuch Records will publish the album in September, 2014. Some fans immediately recognized Plant's honorable return to his Celtic roots, Dreamland or the Fate of Nations sounds. Plant himself, acknowledged revisiting the "boundaries" of the roots from whence he's come. Listen to the newly published track here:

Rome, Italy 30/05- 01/06/14

There is no half way to describe formidable events like these, in which all you can taste is the delicacy of raw, wild, honest talent and passion. The Mojo Station Festival is an idea of Gianluca Diana and Pietropaolo Moroncelli, who know each other since 30-odd years and love the blues straight to the bone to the point of self-finance the whole event just for the love of music and blues in particular. A story made of endless visits to Mississippi and New Orleans, purely to connect their blues DNA stronger and stronger with this part of the United States through living and breathing the sounds and the soul of the roots and bonding great relationship with musicians belonging to this well-aged but formidable genre. A project created and supported by the immense work done by Pietropaolo and Gianluca, (the latter living literally his life for the blues through writing for an Italian National Newspaper, DJing for the Italian National Radio and hosting shows in Local Radio, always in the name and love for the genre) and without whom, would have no reasons to exist.

sandithom-guitarshot-13-540x810Pass by this sweet and unassuming female on the street, you might think she's just an ordinary young lady. See her on stage with two 12-string guitars, one microphone, harmonica, tambourine wrapped around the left ankle, and stomp box under the right foot, you'd swear she is someone else altogether!

In support of Sandi Thom's Maine debut at One Longfellow Square, May 12, 2014, the platinum selling, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter is warmly welcomed by area press, with feature spots, interviews and live performances, at Community Radio WERU FM 89.9, Bull Moose Music, 98.9 WCLZ, and WCSH's nightly program, "207". (Click on links to listen/watch.)

"I have always been blessed with knowing who and what I wanted to be from an early age. The day I sat down at the piano and played my first note was the day I decided my purpose in life was to make music for people," Thom writes within the liner notes of Flesh and Blood (2012), her fourth solo album. And such, the 200 seat intimate atmosphere at One Longfellow Square is the optimum setting for the artist to fully connect with new and old fans who are sitting a stones throw away.

In no time, Thom sets the tempo for the 100 minute set, launching into an unrestrained, roadhouse blues, harmonica solo. The crowd 'hoots' and 'whistles', recognizing the intro to "Help Me", the Sonny Boy Williamson blues number she covered on Flesh and Blood. Add tambourine, then guitar, to the melody, and a palpable energy mounts. Soon the wooden floor beneath our feet vibrates as a rhythmic thumping from the stomp box under her foot radiates outward. "Won't you help me baby...Won't you help me darling," Thom sings out, in her signature vocal style: part gritty-growl, part angelic-lullaby. The shows off to a great start.

As I watch this one-woman band, I can't help but marvel at her elegance, her graceful composure. She's in full control of her surroundings: melody, lyrics, instrumentation, and audience. She looks everyone in the eye and lets loose on the sultry, up tempo, R&B number, "Stormy Weather".


Thom shares several stories and inspirations behind her music:

She discovered she "could have a voice, say something important," as a result of listening to Canadian-American folk singer, Buffy Sainte-Marie, on the car radio. She was six years old. At 14, Thom savored her first taste of professional life when joining a local pub, cover band. "Great fun! An absolute blast! (They were) "... kind of like fathers," says Thom, referring to band mates thirty years her senior. "The benefit: they introduced me to their music. Fleetwood Mac. The Eagles ...We would play this song ... Landslide." The version is impeccable, as if she'd wrote it herself.

"Took a lot of solace in alcohol—in a pub—where many of the worlds problems are solved," she remarks, tuning the 12-string Taylor in her arms. "Asked, 'Who are your greatest influences?' Stevie Nicks. Buffy Sainte-Marie ... and one karaoke drunk who sung like an angel," Thom says of the inspiration behind "Human Jukebox", from Merchant and Thieves (2010). Here, Thom's softer tones drive home the meaning behind the lyrics. "He's healing hearts with this song ... He's a human jukebox."

The attentive crowd absorbs all the soul Thom can pour out in one evening, as she continues to alternate between sentimental ballads, pop hits, and driving, blues-rock numbers from her five albums. It's the perfect blend of emotion, instrumentation and vocal prowess. Thom's lyrical honesty and one-on-one approach is purposeful and heartwarming. She makes an indelible impact on the listening audience, drawing them into her "personal" space - forever.

I encourage you to read an interview with The Daily Beast, where Thom openly dishes on the ups/downs of the business. It is truly an enlightening story.

Be sure to check out Thom's Youtube channel and follow her on Facebook.

For all things "Sandi," including news on her upcoming sixth solo album, fall tour and more, visit www.sandithom.com.

Yours in music,

DebFromMaine Hebert

Photo (top left) courtesy of Sandi Thom, Guardian Angel Records.

Photo (bottom right) courtesy of A. J. St. Pierre.

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