His wonderful Tower of Songs
Stripped back, desolate, naked and sensual
Born 1934 into a traditional Jewish family from Montreal Canada, Leonard Cohen can now be described as one of the most accomplished and celebrated singer-song writers and poets of our time. He published his first book of poetry in 1956, but it was from 1960 during his time spent on the Greek Island of Hydra that his hedonistic genius as a songwriter began to emerge. In true bohemian style, he returned from Greece, by all accounts, penniless and joined, almost by accident, the folk revival that existed in Greenwich Village, New York during the mid-60s. During these years he penned the poetic and deeply moving songs that were to change not only his life, but the lives of an entire generation of fans – those of an acoustic music listening counterculture that prevailed at that time across most of the western world. The rest, as they say, is history.
The core of his writing focused on the deepest of thoughts and feelings known to man; such as sexuality, complex interpersonal relationships, war, religion and morality. Cohen was highly regarded by critics for his lucid, rich, often daring lyrics.
He produced intimate compositions of high artistic quality across 14 studio Albums during a five decade career. His last Album You want it Darker was released just 3 weeks before he died aged 82 and occupied top Album chart positions for many weeks after.
It was a chilling announcement when the world lost this enigmatic and mysterious Man. Within every line of his writing, he had been challenging us to listen more carefully, speak more thoughtfully, think more deeply and recognize our own failings. Leonard Cohen was an unflinching character, with an exact sense of prose, a wry humour and courage to wrestle with the unspoken, forgiving human frailty with the brush of each line. He was a Man of Grace and we will miss him very much.
With a lifetime reputation of performing in this exact way and an undying love of the ‘pure song’ Keith James gives you a concert of Cohen’s amazing material in the most intimate and sensitive way imaginable, exposing the solitary inner strength of his greatest songs in their original perfect form.
“I have paired each song back to it’s central core and original sense of purpose by performing each song as near to the way it was originally written, exposing Cohen’s unprecedented sense of humanity. I have given a great deal of individual thought to each song; why it was written, where it was written and have considered the dynamic forces, both internal and worldly that has brought pen to paper”
Amongst a concert of such songs as; Famous Blue Raincoat, Sisters of Mercy, Suzanne and Hallelujah, are also Poems by Lorca that Keith has set to music; Cohen’s greatest influence. There will also be songs from ‘You want it Darker’ released only 2 weeks before his death – produced by his Son, Adam.
Over the past six years, Keith has performed an extensive tour of this concert in Theatres and Arts Centres across the UK, giving almost 400 concerts to what has amounted to more than 100,000 people. Singing his bare and passionate interpretations of these masterfully written songs has proved to be one of the greatest honours in Keith James’ 40 year career in music. Keith lives in Powys, Wales and Andalucia, Spain.
‘Some of the most atmospheric and emotive music you will ever hear’ The Independent
‘Keith James has become a pillar of trust. A sublimely intimate and engaging voice’ Sunday Times
‘an elegant and beautifully crafted reinterpretation of a great Artist’s words’ BBC Radio Scotland
‘certainly the UK’s most celebrated and evocative interpreter of golden music’ The Guardian
‘a sensitive and pleasingly understated delivery, all the better that the songs might speak for themselves’ Acoustic Magazine