by John Tarpley
Robbie Robertson of The Band calls his fellow Canadian "a national treasure." Bob Dylan still champions the beloved folkie at every opportunity, saying "every time I hear a song of his, it's like I wish it would last forever." In the realm of folk music, few tracks are larger than the ones left by Gordon Lightfoot and his 12-string guitar. "Rainy Day People," "If You Could Read My Mind," "Sundown" and, good God, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" solidified his place as one of the greats, not to mention one of the key architects behind the organic, pop-folk sound that defined the '60s. Now the man's back on stage after rehabilitating from a six-week coma in 2002 that almost left his famous picking fingers atrophied, now strumming and singing through a two-hour set of highlights from his expansive catalog of songs. Young guns, don't let the goofy name fool you. If you have acoustic aspirations, skip folks like Secondhand Serenade and respect your elders: Lightfoot's required listening.