We went to see Gordon Lightfoot at TCU Place in Saskatoon on Monday. I have to admit before I went I wasn’t sure how many people would show up and whether he could still sing. He’ll turn 79 in two weeks. Well, his voice certainly isn’t what it was. It’s thin and raspy compared to his heyday. But the Sid Buckwold Theatre was packed with an appreciative audience who made him feel welcome and applauded after every song.
I have always loved the music of Gordon Lightfoot. He is a legend in more than one music genre, crossing over from folk to folk-rock and country. He is one of the few Canadian artists who became a star in his own country before achieving fame in the U.S., where for a time in the 1970’s he also made it big, scoring a number of Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Many of his songs have been recorded by iconic singers such as Elvis, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Barbara Streisand, Eric Clapton, Johnny Mathis and many others. Bob Dylan apparently said that when he heard a Lightfoot song he wished it would last forever. I would echo that sentiment. In his younger days when his voice was full and strong I could listen to his music and just drift away. His lyrics and arrangements together made my kind of music.