Whispering pines : the northern roots of American music from Hank Snow to the Band

by Schneider, Jason, 1971-

Format: Print Book 2009
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction ML3484.S36 2009x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  ML3484.S36 2009x
Whispering Pines is the first comprehensive history of Canada's immense songwriting legacy, from Gordon Lightfoot to Joni Mitchell.Canadian songwriters have always struggled to create work that reflects the environment in which they were raised, while simultaneously connecting with a mass audience. For most of the 20th century, that audience lay outside Canada, making the challenge that much greater. While nearly every songwriter who successfully crossed this divide did so by immersing themselves in the American and British forms of blues, folk, country, and their bastard offspring, rock and roll, traces of Canadian sensibilities were never far beneath the surface of the eventual end product.What were these sensibilities, and why did they transfer so well outside Canada? With each passing decade, a clear picture eventually emerged of what Canadian songwriters were contributing to popular music, and subsequently passing on to fellow artists, both within Canada and around the world. Just as Hank Snow became a giant in country music, Ian & Sylvia and Gordon Lightfoot became crucial components of the folk revival. In the folk-rock boom that followed in the late '60s, songs by The Band and Leonard Cohen were instant standards, while during the '70s singer/songwriter movement few artists were more revered than Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.This is the first thorough exploration of how these, along with other lesser-known but no less significant, artists came to establish a distinct Canadian musical identity from the 1930s to the end of the 1970s. Anecdotes explaining the personal and creative connections that many of the artists shared comprise a large aspect of the storytelling, along with first-person interviews and extensive research. The emphasis is on the essential music -- how and where it originated, and what impact it eventually had on both the artists' subsequent work, and the wider musical world.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Hank Snow, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot, Robbie Robertson and the Band (except for Levon Helm), Bruce Cockburn, Kate and Anna McGarrigle all Canadians. Yet Whispering Pines is the first comprehensive book, long overdue, on Canadians' impact on contemporary American pop music. Schneider profiles major songwriting performers, fleshing out stories unknown by casual fans and perforce discussing some of the most critically acclaimed rock albums, from the Band's Music from Big Pink to Neil Young's After the Gold Rush. He explores the origins of particularly influential songs, such as Gordon Lightfoot's great Canadian Railroad Trilogy and Joni Mitchell's Woodstock (the lyrics came to her while watching TV news about the festival in David Geffen's New York apartment). If Schneider isn't quite satisfying on what makes a song Canadian, it's not through lack of trying. Rounded off by a very useful discography, this is a refreshing addition to pop-music literature as well as to the often neglected-by-Americans corpus of Canadiana.--Sawyers, June Copyright 2009 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: ""What makes Canada such fertile ground for talented artists?" When Canadian music journalist Schneider posed the question to Toronto-born guitarist Robbie Robertson, Robertson replied, "Must be something in the water." Schneider's ambitious full-length study of Canadian musicians from Wilf Carter through the Band seeks to test that very potent water, and although the results are inconclusive, his study is sure to become a key piece in the survey of popular music history. Schneider introduces picked-over subjects such as Leonard Cohen with such nuanced attention to personal humanity, it is as if the author has revealed them to us for the first time. Schneider beautifully weaves in the complicated relationships, both professional and personal, of the various artists who have come to define the sound of 20th-century American popular music (yes, American). If Schneider's book does nothing else, it exposes the semantic futility of delineating popular music of the U.S. from that of Canada, be it Dylan's quintessential 1960s sound, courtesy of the Band, or the sound of 1970s California, as created by Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and the Mamas and Papas, Canadians all. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Popular music -- Canada -- History and criticism.
Music -- Canada -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Musicians -- Canada -- Biography.
Publisher Toronto :ECW Press,2009
Language English
Description 347 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 339-347).
Discography: pages 307-336.
ISBN 9781550228748 (hardcover)
1550228749 (hardcover)
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