An institution north of the Canadian border, Gordon Lightfoot is practically the living embodiment of what many think of as the national character. Stoic, weathered, and hard-working, Lightfoot practices a husky brand of folk music that's as timeless as the Canadian landscape that seems to loom above his most memorable melodies. This overdue four-disc retrospective stretches all the way back to 1962, when the Ontario-born performer tried to make it in Nashville, up to 1998; 16 previously unreleased tracks and another 17 previously available only on vinyl add meat to its frame. Yes, the familiar tunes are here--"For Lovin' Me" (a hit for both Peter, Paul & Mary and Ian & Sylvia), "Early Morning Rain", "If You Could Read My Mind", "Sundown", "Carefree Highway", and the oft-parodied but truly evocative "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". But Songbook, like the artist it commemorates, isn't defined by radio staples. It's about the splendid expanse that is the decades-long career of a true musical workhorse.