2017 Juno Awards To Feature Feist Performing Leonard Cohen Tribute

The 2017 Juno Awards are broadcast on Sunday, April 2 on CTV. Today, the network and the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences have announced that Feist will perform a Leonard Cohen tribute at the awards show. She is set to play an “arrangement of one of Cohen’s classic songs,” according to a press release.

From Feist to Perform Leonard Cohen Tribute at 2017 Juno Awards by Matthew Strauss (Pitcjfork: 27 March 2017). Photo by Jason Persse – Flickr: Feist, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikipedia Commons

Warren Zevon Turning Canadian, Covering Leonard Cohen’s First We Take Manhattan

zevonListening to live recordings of Warren Zevon playing in Buffalo (December 1991) and Cleveland (January 1992), I was so taken by his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhattan” and his comments bracketing the song that I realized nothing would do but offer Zevon’s song and his thoughts on turning Canadian.

Update: See Download Warren Zevon Concert Recordings Legally & At No Cost

Becoming Leonard Cohen

Prior to both of these audio clips, Zevon has introduced the Odds, a Vancouver based band backing him in this round of concerts. He then segues into their Canadian origin, which is where the first clip begins.

Warren Zevon On Becoming Leonard Cohen
(Empire Club, Cleveland, Jan 5, 1992)

Born To Sing This Song

Before beginning “First We Take Manhattan,” Zevon says,

I think the only three singer-songwriters I can stand since Bob Dylan are all Canadian. What do you think about that? So, we’re going to do a Leonard Cohen song for you here. [indecipherable] I was born to sing this song.

At the end, he opines,

I bet Leonard Cohen doesn’t perspire like this. Neither does John Updike.

Warren Zevon – First We Take Manhattan
Impaxx, Buffalo, Dec 13, 1991


Credit Due Department: Photo by Klaus Hiltscher – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikipedia Commons. Originally posted May 20, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Patrick Ovenden Performs Story of Isaac From A Schedule of Trains, An Album of Leonard Cohen Covers

isaacI recently received an email from Patrick Ovenden that read, in part,

It’s odd but I never considered myself a Leonard Cohen ‘fan’. It never occurred to me to attend a concert, although I gleefully swooped upon a bootleg CD some years ago, and I was quite jealous when my uncle sent me photos of the London 02 Arena concert he attended. In truth, I was a massive fan. My parents’ records became my own and whenever I picked up a guitar to sing with, a Leonard Cohen song would spring to mind. Delighted with his commercial comeback in 1988, I was evangelistic among my school friends and scanned the secondhand record shops making sure I had all the albums available.

As an amateur singer and songwriter, Leonard’s style of delivery and lyrical content was very influential. I created a rather playful pastiche called ‘Oh! Clarence’ back in 2010, and for my various songwriters covers album of 2014 I chose two favourites, Stories of the Street and Night Comes On. A fan of the Moody Blues, I also attempted an arrangement of Nights in White Satin in the style of Songs of Love and Hate, complete with a spoof cover.

But somehow, it was only on hearing news of his death I realised how I had always relied on Leonard Cohen being alive and well and part of this world. I think I started the covers project because I wanted to hear his songs but was too upset to hear his voice. This passed after a fortnight or so and then I started getting stuck into YouTube, finding all the rare tracks and unofficial concert recordings I had never thought to find before. It was a wonderful experience, accompanied by the reading of Sylvie Simmons’ biography, a rewatch of the BBC’s Songs from the Life of Leonard Cohen and a slightly frustrating video entitled The Early Years or something like that.

During this period I was applying myself solidly to the album (when not in work). It started taking the shape of a concert setlist – apart from the omission of Suzanne, which I have not managed to nail yet. And now it’s finished I’m proud to say that this is, without question, the best thing I’ve recorded so far.

Story Of Isaac

Rather than overwhelm readers with the complete album, Patrick and I agreed to spotlight Story Of Isaac. The video below should automatically start with that track.