Review & Photos From Winnipeg Free Press
First he takes a Juno. Then he takes the ’Peg.
Leonard Cohen may be at the top of the Canadian musical mountain, but he still knows his place in the universe.
The 78-year-old Montrealer kneeled on his prayer bones at the MTS Centre Friday night, pleading for redemption from a higher power and begging for forgiveness from an adoring crowd.
He was supposed to perform here on March 11, but the flu swept its way through his exceptional band, so the gig was rescheduled until Friday night.
The wait was worth it.
From Review: Cohen still a musical, lyrical force by Alan Small. Winnipeg Free Press: April 27, 2013. The full review, which ranked the Cohen concert “4 1/2 stars out of five” is available at the link as is a slide show of nine photos by Trevor Hagan.
Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan
Winnipeg: April 26, 2013
Video by bigcanadiano
Tribute To Fallen Workers In Song
The review includes a description of Leonard Cohen’s tribute to recently deceased Canadian folk & country singers, Stompin’ Tom Connors and Rita MacNeil and to country legend George Jones, who died the same day as the Winnipeg show, April 26, 2013.
In a 2001 interview with Mark Binelli, Cohen talked about Jones:1
I listened to country as a kid. I could get WWVA from West Virginia, late at night. Have you heard George Jones’ last record, Cold Hard Truth? I love to hear an old guy laying out his situation.2 He has the best voice in America.
In honor of Jones, Cohen played “Choices,” a ballad Jones wrote in 1999 following a car wreck attributed to drinking, his final alcohol-related incident. “Choices”won a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
“Choices” is one of three George Jones songs posted as selections at Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox, a series which features songs the Canadian singer-songwriter has specifically named and lauded in interviews.
- “Choices” By George Jones Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
- “The Grand Tour” by George Jones Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox – Or At Least His Funeral Setlist
- “Cold Hard Truth” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
There is no known video of Choices from the Winnipeg show. The performance below took place a couple of months later.
Leonard Cohen – Choices (George Jones Cover)
Mannheim: June 29, 2013
Note: Originally posted Apr 27, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
- Leonard Cohen on Becoming a Monk, Why His Opinions Don’t Matter by Mark Binelli. Rolling Stone: Nov 8, 2001. [↩]
- I also love to hear an old guy laying out his situation. Incidentally, George Jones was born September 12, 1931, making him only 3 years older than Leonard Cohen, who was born September 21, 1934. It was because Jones began his professional career at 16 and was singing on Texas stations in the 1940s that his songs could possibly have been available on radio while Cohen was still an adolescent. I haven’t been able to track down when Jones began singing at WWVA, but, according to allmusic, the first George Jones recording (a single called “No Money in This Deal”) was released in early 1954, just after Jones returned from a stint in the Marines, on a local Texas label where it received no attention. At that time, Leonard Cohen would have been 19 years old [↩]