Each of us has that one musician that connected with us at an early age in life and whose music remains part of your life's soundtrack forever. Gordon Lightfoot has been one such musician for me. The Canadian born singer/songwriter is typically placed into the folk, folk rock or country categories depending on the song or on the person doing the categorization. From my point of view, Gordon Lightfoot is a classic storyteller who uses lyrics and music to spin yarns about life.
I took it on as part of my parental responsibility to my two boys to do my part in making sure they loved music. My musical tastes have always been pretty broad so a shuffle on my ipod can yield everything from Bach to Willie Nelson to Frank Sinatra to Charlie Parker to Allman Brothers to Dylan - you get the picture. But you probably can't listen to one hour of a shuffle without hearing a song from Gordon Lightfoot. I helped Brady and Blake gain an appreciation for Gordon early on and they both love his unique music to this day.
My parental instincts were rewarded this week when Brady took me to see Gordon Lightfoot in concert at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City. I had seen Gordon once in college as a gift from a good friend. It was a memorable evening. But to be able to sit with Brady and listen to Gordon sing again was a special treat. His voice is not as strong as it once was, but his love of his music and his ability to tell stories is probably better than ever. And his band is superb. They know each other well and it is easy to see and hear how much they love playing music together.
Gordon Lightfoot turns 70 next year. He survived a serious health problem a few years ago but is clearly back in form after hearing him in concert this week. If you have never given Lightfoot's music a listen beyond the couple of hits that everyone knows, you really should take some time and listen to him. Definitely worth it.