SINCERELY, L. COHEN: A LIVE CELEBRATION OF LEONARD COHEN is out now via Royal Potato Family and just last week would have been the legendary singer-songwriter's 83rd birthday. Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016, one day before the presidential election, but the world didn't find out until several days later. On January 24, 2017, New York City finally paid tribute to the Poet Prince of Montréal with a concert at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, featuring dozens of singers, songwriters, artists and musicians, including Richard Thompson, Josh Ritter, Will Sheff (Okkervil River), Leslie Mendelson, Amy Helm, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), Elvis Perkins, Holly Miranda, Joan As Police Woman, Delicate Steve and many more. It was an evening the Village Voice called "a loving, thoughtful tribute to Cohen's life in music and poetry." The live album features highlight performances from this nearly three-hour marathon concert, which the Voice also hailed as a "carefully constructed, expertly structured production."
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The concert and subsequent album was produced by Leonard Cohen fans Jesse Lauter (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Hannah Gold (City Winery Presents), and Josh Kaufman (Bob Weir). Kaufman (guitar) led the house band, which featured highly regarded New York-based musicians including Ray Rizzo (drums-Yo Yo Ma), Walt Martin (keys-The Walkmen), Annie Nero (bass-Craig Finn), Stuart Bogie (brass & woodwinds-Arcade Fire), Nick Kinsey (percussion-Kevin Morby) and Dave Harrington (guitar-Darkside), punctuated by a backing vocal trio that Cohen would have been proud of featuring Leslie Mendelson, Cassandra Jenkins and Jocie Adams.
In the liner notes to this collection, music journalist Justin Joffe writes, "Sincerely, L. Cohen: A Live Celebration of Leonard Cohen could have been a solemn affair. But all performers took the celebration part to heart, infusing Cohen's most somber truths with equal parts reverence and reverie. The evening found a mix of New York icons, esteemed singer-songwriters, cult performers, and up-and-comers for a night of Cohen standards, stories and deep cuts." Joffe continues: "Sentimental and scholarly, full of tearful singalongs and heartfelt remembrance, it was an evening Cohen would have appreciated."
All proceeds from album sales will go to the Preemptive Love Coalition, a non-profit organization that aids children and families affected by terrorism and other crises in the Middle East across the globe. For more information, visit: www.preemptivelove.org.
Hallelujah - Delicate Steve
Sisters of Mercy - Leslie Mendelson
Diamonds In The Mine - Osei Essed
I'm Your Man - Holly Miranda, Joan As Police Woman & Invisible Familiars
Chelsea Hotel #2 - Josh Ritter
Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye - Amy Helm
Is This What You Wanted - Elvis Perkins
Bird On The Wire - Richard Thompson
Story Of Isaac - Richard Thompson
Beautiful Losers - Lenny Kaye
Memories - Ian O'Neil (Deer Tick)
In My Secret Life - Cassandra Jenkins
Ballad of The Absent Mare - Teddy Thompson
Suzanne - Alana Amram
Famous Blue Raincoat - Lee Ranaldo
So Long, Marianne - Will Sheff (Okkervil River) & Friends