New York Town Hall 1968

Here is a review of one of Lightfoot's earliest solo New York concerts. Reviewers at that time, in Canada and the US alike, continually speculated as to why Lightfoot was "holding something back" which prevented him from hitting it big - immediately. But as you read on I think the reviewer answers his own question correctly in his final paragraph. Well, we all now know that Lightfoot did hit it big, but what those early reviewers hinted at, but didn't fully understand, was that Lightfoot was going to succeed on his own terms or not succeed at all. - WF

Town Hall, New York - Dec. 4, 1968

Gordon Lightfoot, a folksinger from Canada who has been legging the scene for a few years and whose popularity via United Artists disks has been steadily swelling, made an impressive stand at Town Hall, NY Saturday night. He last concertized locally in 1965 at this same recital hall on a bill with others.

At that time his most widely circulated number was "That's What You Get For Loving Me," which still wins for his old fans, as well as new. Latter were drawn largely by FM airplay of one of his album cuts, "The Last Time I Saw Her." Lightfoot performed both, along with a mixed bag of straight folk and country music covering sensitive, romantic ballads, humorous jaunts and near-message tunes.

He is an excellent songwriter, singer and guitarist. Moreover, he has not compromised with folk-rock, and commands much respect for projecting strongly and contemporaneously on the basis of more traditional qualities rather than on the primal beat. He is accompanied very well by a guitarist and bassist, both plugged in.

A curious aspect to Lightfoot, however, is that no image of the person has spun into the public's data bank of personalities. There is almost an anonymity to his performance. This is quite rare, especially in the folk field, and one must wonder why he is holding back that extra something that his audience, and the larger one to be tapped, demands to embrace a star.

Maybe he has chosen to retain some of himself rather than to splash big and briefly, feeling that other personalities overplay their hand and become public property. He must have his motives, for obviously he is aware that he has the talent to turn the trick "overnight."