Singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot put on a two-hour, no-nonsense concert Sunday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, and the large audience in attendance loved every minute of it.
People came from as far away as West Virginia and Delaware for his performance, during which he sang 31 songs - interrupted only by a 15-minute mid concert break.
The soft-spoken Canadian, who tells stories in his songs, did very little talking during the show. About the only sentence he uttered was near the end of the concert when he stated, "This is show number 18 of 18 shows, so it's back to Canada tonight."
Fan Georganne Beck of Bunker Hill, West Virginia pointed out that what apparently made the tour more grueling was that earlier this year he lost his long-time lead guitarist.
Terry Clements, who was with Lightfoot for 40 years, died on Feb. 20, 2011 following a stroke.
Beck pointed out that in honor of Clements, the four band members for Lightfoot were attired in black.
Lightfoot has achieved success in his singing and songwriting in several genres, including folk, folk-rock, and country.
Some of his songs have been recorded by such stars as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Judy Colins, and Johnny Mathis.
Lightfoot walked on stage for the start of the concert and promptly began singing. He opened with the title cut from his first album in 1968, "Did She Mention My Name."
Throughout the concert, Lightfoot played guitar. Beck pointed out that Lightfoot only uses Martin guitars, which are manufactured in Nazareth.
Of course, Lightfoot sang all his major hits including "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," "Sundown," and "If You Could Read My Mind."
Other selections included "Ribbon of Darkness," which was also a number one hit of the late Marty Robbins; "Go Go Round," "The Canadian Railroad Trilogy," and "Rainy Day People," which was one of his curtain call numbers.
Beck, who said she's been a lifelong fan of Lightfoot and has seen him in concert, remarked, "He is amazing."
She said she was concerned about the band after the death of Clements, but noted that his replacement, Carter Lancaster "did very well."
Her favorite song is, of course, "If You Could Read My Mind."
Jerry Hall of Allentown, formerly of Bowmanstown, commented, "I've been a fan of his for 30 years. The show was great."
He said he has seen Lightfoot in concert about 20 times.
Both said they were impressed with the venue.
Layton Miller of Dover, Delaware said he also is a long-time fan of Lightfoot. "I don't know how long he's going to be touring considering he is in his 70s," he said, "so I thought we'd come her and take in the show. What a concert! He never disappoints."
His friend, Lisa Dahusky, also of Delaware, agreed, commenting, "I'm really glad we came. I'm not as familiar with Gordon as Layton is, but he is a truly remarkable performer."
The concert lineup continues at Penn's Peak on Thursday with Melvin Seals and JGB. The opening act is Boris Garcia. The concert begins at 8 p.m.
Loretta Lynn arrives in a rescheduled concert on Friday, April 14.