If you were a contemporary singer-songwriter, there would probably little you'd like better than a compliment from Bob Dylan.
Dylan said this about Canadian troubadour Gordon Lightfoot: "When I hear a Gordon Lightfoot song, I wish it would last forever." (Some sources report the quotation as "... I wish it would go on forever," but the idea is the same.)
Lightfoot's been making tuneful and intelligent songs and albums since the 1960s. His first huge hit was "In the Early Morning Rain" and his subsequent hits include ""If You Could Read My Mind," "For Loving Me," "Sundown," "Beautiful," "Carefree Highway," "Rainy Day People" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." His songs have been covered by everyone from Liza Minnelli to Elvis Presley and even Peter Tosh.
Lightfoot will perform Friday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota.
On his current tour, he's playing his hits plus some deep album cuts, and he's telling behind-the-scenes stories and personal anecdotes about his historic 50-year career in music.
Details: 8 p.m. March 11, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $41.92-$63.32. Information: 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.
-- Marty Clear