Gordon Lightfoot’s new, stripped-down studio album, ‘Solo,’ released today

Canadian folk legend Gordon Lightfoot‘s 21st studio album, Solo, his first new collection of songs since 2004’s Harmony, gets released today.

The 10-song collection’s title refers to the fact that the tracks feature just Gordon’s vocals and acoustic guitar. Half the album is made up of recordings he did in 2001 and 2002 during sessions for Harmony that he only recently rediscovered.

“I did 18 songs. And from those 18, we got our Harmony album,” Lightfoot tells ABC Audio with regard to the sessions, which he did shortly before suffering a near-fatal abdominal aortic aneurysm that sidelined him for over two years. “And then these other things were left over, but I didn’t know I had them. And when I found them, I said, ‘Why did I save this stuff?’ When I listened to it, I knew why.”

The 81-year-old singer/songwriter notes that he wasn’t only happy with the quality of the tunes, but how good they sounded in their raw form.

Lightfoot admits that he initially considered redoing the songs in a more layered, produced fashion, but inevitably decided not to touch them.

“I could’ve smoothed it out and I could’ve changed formats and done stuff like that,” he explains, “but I said, ‘It’s not necessary to do that. You’re gonna lose something.'”

Recalling his impressions of the tracks, Gordon says he thought to himself, “Gee…this stuff sounds really good. And you had no health issues yet to think about. And [you were] at your peak of your vocal [abilities]. Your playing was probably the best that it’s been…Let’s just let her go.”

Lightfoot was supposed to launch a new series of U.S. tour dates on March 25, but his shows through April 4 have been postponed because of the coronavirus.

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