Richard Lutz takes a pew for Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot.
It wasn’t until singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot delivered his most well-known song If You Could Read My Mind that this show at Birminghan’s Symphony Hall started to burn a tad brighter.
The 77 year old musician has a partially shot voice, half bee buzzing in a jar, half raspy whisper. He looked under the weather and a bit tired. But who wouldn’t in the eighth decade of life and touring night after night?
But the man has form – half a century in the business and songs like Early Morning Rain that have been covered by Dylan, Elvis and Judy Collins. He also has a sharp sense of humour. “Rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated,” he confided as he referred to a recent Twitter error that he had died.
With his range limited and heading for the twilight of his career, he needed able backup from his four piece band and that helped pick up the show. But he still carries a bittersweet charm that has helped pay the mortgage for five decades and, on this day, fill such a big hall.
Songs were shortened to take in the breadth of his songwriting career or maybe help him get through his voluminous work in one piece. But he can still pick a tune or two. And at 77, though showing his age, he is still quite the troubadour as he continues his UK tour with that raspy voice, that back catalogue and, from what I saw, a keen following.