Keith James tours The Songs Of Leonard Cohen

www.keith-james.com

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.
Nick Drake songs

“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

BARB JUNGR- Hard Rain (Krystalyn Records KLCD1P)

CDHardRainsquare_110454I’m a sucker for covers albums particularly when Bob Dylan is involved. Some are good, some are dreadful but they all have something to recommend them. Add Leonard Cohen to the mix and I begin to salivate.

Barb Jungr has the ability to take a well-known song and make it her own. With early Dylan and, indeed, early Cohen it’s not difficult to move away from the original – a single acoustic guitar and a somewhat metronomic delivery is easy to soup up. It worked for The Byrds. Barb starts by completely ignoring the originals although later Cohen songs like ‘First We Take Manhattan’ and ‘1000 Kisses Deep’ suit her perfectly as they are. She imbues ‘Hard Rain’ with a bitterness that Dylan only hints at and takes the torrent of words that is ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ and, by enunciating each one clearly, makes perfect sense of the song. Continue reading BARB JUNGR- Hard Rain (Krystalyn Records KLCD1P)

Barb Jungr – new album and making of video

CDHardRainsquare_110454The UK’s finest interpreter of song, Barb Jungr returns to the songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen with the release of Hard Rain. Oft referred to as “the politicised chansonnier” and cited as one of the world’s best performers of Dylan’s material, Barb turns to six of his most politically hard-hitting songs along with five of Leonard Cohen’s most impassioned songs of conscience. Barb’s selection for Hard Rain reflects her despair with the political times that we live in and she has deliberately chosen songs that resonate as strongly today as they did when they were originally written: Blowin’ In The Wind is now 51 years old and its sentiments are as relevant today as they ever were. Continue reading Barb Jungr – new album and making of video

Debut LP From Acclaimed Aussie Folk/Americana Band Buffalo Tales

Wes Carr Buffalo TalesWith a ragged, soaring voice recalling Bon Iver, coupled with the rambling spirit and storytelling of Woody Guthrie, Buffalo Tales’ Wes Carr has a keen ear for the past. On their debut LP Roadtrip Confessions, Buffalo Tales spin universal tales of hard-bitten love, travel, and the eternal search for happiness and salvation. At the age of 30, Carr sounds like an old soul on Roadtrip Confessions, a man who has walked through the fire and paid more than his share of dues, and emerged cleansed the other side. Buffalo Tales is a farewell to the past, and Roadtrip Confessions is a mission statement for the future: heartfelt, acoustic songs, with no gimmicks. Continue reading Debut LP From Acclaimed Aussie Folk/Americana Band Buffalo Tales

Eugene Twist – The Boy Who Had Everything

If it’s possible to emerge studied, grounded and with a Clint Eastwood snarl, from the eye of an intense musical storm, Glasgow’s Eugene Twist is your man. At 25, he maintains a fiercely individualistic sense of creativity in his songwriting, nurtured from an early exposure to artists as diverse as Leonard Cohen, Pixies and Buena Vista Social Club. As a longtime composer and multi-instrumentalist, Eugene has always explored intuitively on the path to finding his own voice. The result: an effortless pop sensibility, seasoned musicality and killer narrative are equally at home in an ethereal landscape as they are in his sophisticated ballads.

Eugene’s self-produced debut album ‘The Boy Who Had Everything’ is tailored to anyone seeking a new voice in songwriting: One that has not fallen contrived to the overwhelming stylistic pressures of contemporary song but rather holds its own torch high in the name of organic expression. As the title perhaps intends, it is a homage to the cultivations of a far-reaching artistic upbringing and vow to a constant sharpening of identity and craft.

EUGENE TWIST – THE BOY WHO HAD EVERYTHING – Out July 9th on Tough Act Records

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

“Unbelievably accomplished and inspired, definitely one of my tips for 2012”

Vic Galloway – BBC Radio Scotland

“An amazing journey to an era of musical idealism”

Mark Plati – Producer: David Bowie / The Cure

“You’re going to be hearing a lot more about him on our show”

Ricky Ross ‘Another Country’ – BBC Radio Scotland

Texan fiddler-singer-songwriter Amanda Shires released new album ‘Carrying Lightning’

Texan fiddler-singer-songwriter Amanda Shires announces her first headline tour of the UK & Ireland in April & May, including shows at this year’s prestigious Kilkenny Roots Festival, accompanied by Rod Picott on guitar and Todd Pertll on lap steel.

Widely regarded for her regular collaborations with Justin Townes Earle, Jason Isbell and Rod Picott, Amanda is taking a deserved turn in the spotlight, promoting her spellbinding new album Carrying Lightning – see below for full tour itinerary & album details.Amanda will also be recording sessions during the tour for Bob Harris’s BBC Radio 2 Sunday show and Barry Marshall-Everitt’s House Of Mercy during the tour. Continue reading Texan fiddler-singer-songwriter Amanda Shires released new album ‘Carrying Lightning’