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Icon plays around sundown.

Byline: Serena Markstrom The Register-Guard

If you could read my mind, you'd know I was thinking that it's got to be tough out there for icons.

Gordon Lightfoot's mug is on a Canadian postage stamp, so he's up there with Willie Nelson in the living legends category.

And Lightfoot surely will face expectations similar to the ones Nelson did during his Cuthbert show in July, when the audience seemed to amicably tolerate the new stuff while wanting to hear the hits they could sing or hum along with.

Lightfoot might have become a superstar of the folk world in the early 1970s, but the man is still cranking out albums. The latest of them arrived in 2004, two years after he suffered a near-fatal burst artery while on stage.

Expect Lightfoot to share his new material with you. So if you need to, go buy the discs right now and study up until the 8 p.m. showtime.

Tonight's concert promises to be a mix of the old and the new, as most veterans still on the road want to put on a good show.

The Canadian folk singer has been on the scene since the early '60s. He penned songs that Peter, Paul & Mary and other popular acts of the day made into hits.

Although Lightfoot has the gift of writing timeless songs, particularly ballads, "If You Could Read My Mind" is probably his most famous. According to a news bio, the song reached No. 5 on the U.S. charts and is one of the most covered songs in popular music history.

Lightfoot has recorded more than 200 songs and been nominated for five Grammys. He has won 17 Junos, his country's equivalent to the Grammy.

Other successful and respected performing songwriters - including Dan Fogelberg, Jimmy Buffett, Jim Croce and Ron Sexsmith - have cited Lightfoot as an influence.

Buffett says in a news release that he's always trying to write like Lightfoot.

"A song of mine like 'Come Monday' is a direct result of me trying to write a Gordon Lightfoot song," Buffett says.

In 2002, during a concert in his hometown of Orillia, Ontario, Lightfoot fell down after an artery burst. He was in a coma for six weeks, the bio says, but during his recovery he worked on his 2004 release, "Harmony."

He resumed touring in 2005.

CONCERT PREVIEW

Gordon Lightfoot

What: Folk singer, composer, lyricist and poet

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Cuthbert Amphitheater, 555 Day Island Road

Tickets: $60 for reserved seating and $30 for general admission

CAPTION(S):

Gordon Lightfoot might be the best-loved Canadian singer-songwriter this side of Neil Young.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment; Gordon Lightfoot is back on tour after surviving an onstage aneurysm
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 24, 2007
Words:439
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