Monday, March 5, 2018

Gordon Lightfoot: Sundown

"Sundown ya better take care
If I find you been creepin' 'round my back stairs.
Sometimes I think it's a sin.
When I feel like I'm winnin'
When I'm losin' again."

Maybe it's because my name is Gordon. Maybe it's because it's rare to find a solo artist out there with that name. There is a certain affinity and affection there for the man from this writer especially when my speakers lit up with the classic Sundown just after sunrise this morning.

When I was a young teen friends ribbed me in a playful (not vicious) manner (or so I chose to believe) calling me Gordon Lightfoot in the school yard. At my ripe young age Gordon Lightfoot was a fairly household name to their parents no doubt but hardly a cool artist to be connected to. Still, there were far worse things to be called. This writer had a passing familiarity to the singer/songwriter and it really wasn't until much later that I discovered an appreciation for some of the man's work. It was clear there actually was music and song by Lightfoot that was a true joy to the ear.

How many people out there haven't heard Sundown? Not many aside from a majority of today's youth many of whom seem to lack a historical appreciation for all music and fancy songs with fitting lyrics like "young, dumb and broke." I have to believe there are some kids out there open to an older song like this one now and again. This writer has always appreciated the variety in pop music that has arrived each decade. I'm never shy to an old or new song and always listen with an open mind and ear.

Sundown (1974) was a Billboard number one hit in the United States for the Canadian singer all those years ago. It was his only number one in the USA despite incredible success in his native Canada including three number ones there.

The artist brought us a number of stellar guitar-based pop rock songs like Carefree Highway (1974), the equally classic If You Could Read My Mind (1970; reaching just number 5 on US charts), the beautiful Beautiful and the ambitious The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (1976).

This music fan was surprised to discover, as of this writing, Lightfoot was still very much alive and performing at the ripe young age of 79. Nothing makes me happier than to find an artist out there still wielding his instrument of choice and enjoying his craft and sharing it with the world. This is a man who has been making music and performing for over five decades. WOW! Go Gordon go!

Sundown (1974). B-. Spearheaded by its title track and Carefree Highway, the effort is a breezy collection of what feels like an American journey---not bad from a Canadian. Gordon hits a sweet spot with his guitar driven crooning. It's a thoughtful, light and reflective style that seems completely absent in today's music. These productions are great for an afternoon drive in the sun even if the collection sounds a bit repetitious in style in spots.

Sundown. A. An amazing hook to an almost flawless car cruising track with an almost Western motif and flourish that brings you back to the feel good era of the 1970s when that decade didn't always offer a whole lot to feel good about. Still, you had to live it to really appreciate it. Songs that bore fruit during the era can still be appreciated today like this one.

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