THE SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN
The Songs of Leonard Cohen
These remarkable songs - stripped back to their bare honesty and courage.
â€˜There is a crack in everything, thatâ€™s how the light gets inâ€™ Cohenâ€™s most memorable and visionary line from his song ANTHEM. If ever there was a sentence in modern poetry to reflect on and give hope and understanding to us all, it is this line. This Concert begins with ANTHEM.
Enigmatic, mysterious and sub textural, songwriter Leonard Cohen was an unflinching character, with an exact sense of prose, wry humour and the courage to wrestle with the unspoken, forgiving human frailty with the stroke of each word.
The chilling announcement of Leonard's death marked the end of an era. His music befriended an entire generation. Within every line of his writing, he has been challenging us to listen more carefully, speak more thoughtfully, think more deeply and recognize our own fragility. Our World misses him very much.
With a lifetime reputation of performing in this exact way and an undying love of the â€˜pure songâ€™ Keith James gives you a concert of Cohenâ€™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. Keith has performed an extensive tour of this concert in Theatres and Arts Centres across the UK, giving almost 500 concerts â€“ close to 150,000 people. This has proved to be one of the greatest honours in Keith Jamesâ€™ 40 year career. Keith lives in Powys, Wales and sometimes in Andalusia, Spain.
Included in the concert are Cohenâ€™s well-known songs: Famous Blue Raincoat, Sisters of Mercy, Suzanne, and Hallelujah alongside his rarer and profound writing such as Who by Fire, Joan of Arc and Secret Life. Also included are songs from his posthumous album Thanks for the Dance such as What happens to the Heart and Keithâ€™s dramatic performances based on the work of Federico Garcia Lorca â€“ Cohenâ€™s greatest influence. Keith has also transcribed into song one of Leonardâ€™s poems from his collection â€˜Book of longingâ€™ written whilst on retreat during the 1990s.
» 1st April 2021
THE GREAT CANADIAN SONGBOOK
THE MUSIC OF NEIL YOUNG, JONI MITCHELL, THE WAINWRIGHTS, LEONARD COHEN, K D LANG, GORDON LIGHTFOOT AND MORE...
I have been listening to and have been noticeably influenced by all of these Singer-songwriters throughout my career as a musician and have always been amazed by the unique sense of honesty and deep collective integrity that music from Canada possesses; a natural embodiment of human awareness that has caressed the countryâ€™s songwriters over many decades.
My concert of this amazing material is presented in the most sensitive way I know how.. similar to 49th Parallel KD Lang.
After the gold rush, Harvest, The circle game, Big yellow taxi, Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, Suzanne, Famous blue raincoat, Constant craving, If you could read my mind are all in this concert.
CONCERT DATES ARE:
BLACK DYKE MILLS HERITAGE VENUE
Queensbury, Bradford, W Yorkshire
Friday October 15th
â€˜Some of the most atmospheric and emotive music you will ever hearâ€™ The Independent
â€˜Keith James has become a pillar of trust. A sublimely intimate and engaging voiceâ€™ Sunday Times
â€˜Certainly the UKâ€™s most celebrated and evocative interpreter of golden musicâ€™ The Guardian
» 1st May 2020
A CONCERT FOR A CHANGING WORLD 2021
As a gesture of belief in the possibility of harmony and understanding within all of us interwoven in todayâ€™s World
A CONCERT FOR A CHANGING WORLD.
UNIQUE AND TIMELESS SONGS OF VISION, QUESTION AND CHANGE
Words that reverberate with the tenacity of human spirit in these current times of brooding disquiet, fractured societies and civil unrest. Songs that have changed history and moved millions of people to do things they never thought possible.
Included in this concert are songs written by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen and Keith
For this concert, the original living writers of each song have been asked to compose powerful brand new verses that stand proud in the 21st century against this current wave of crises.
Keith, a life-long devotee of emotional performance, approaches each of these songs with fresh courage and passion and includes all of the new verses â€“ chilling to listen to! So much has changed, although so little has changed. Everything is moving so fast and yet everything is moving so slowly.
Also included are both versions of Keithâ€™s song I can see and a 2020 re-write of his song Life in a Western World
Keith James became a courageous and singular figure in November of last year when he released the song I CAN SEE in support of â€˜Climate Change awarenessâ€™. He has since released 3 different versions and has seen the song translated into many different languages.
â€˜The world needs powerful songs as much as ever. 'I Can See', certainly hits its target. Keith clearly sees the danger of living in a post-truth, self-serving society, but he sees hope too! Folking.com
» 13th January 2020
Celebrating the Music of YUSUF - CAT STEVENS
It is hardly surprising that, to mark its 50th anniversary, Yusuf has entirely re-recorded and re-released his remarkable Album Tea for the Tillerman, with each of the unforgettable 11 songs re-conceptualized and re-imagined and gifted back to us among all the uncertainties of 2020 and beyond. (Release September 2020)
During the early 1970s, the amassed body of music from this hugely popular and sincerely adored singer/songwriter made for a collection
of 'must have' records across a whole generation. Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were on everyone's
turntables and on every radio station, live versions are played in concerts, bars and on the world's beaches to this day.
Songs such as Wild World, Father and Son, Moonshadow and Where do the Children play have been covered by hundreds of Artists worldwide.
This concert will give you far more than just the music itself; Keith James is one of the most active and inventive performers on this Country's concert scene. All of his concerts are based on dedicated studies of poets and songwriters with whom both he himself and audiences identify as having a quality and integrity far above the norm..
There is a huge amount of insight into the history and the energy of Cat Stevens; his early pop career, his illness that changed him existentially and spiritually into an incredibly thoughtful and loving singer songwriter; such that his songs are remembered instantly for their uplifting sense of truth, promise and human fragility.
Much to talk about the background and embryo of each song.. some of which will be performed as all of us remember and some, carefully and intuitively re-voiced - respectfully re-interpreted with rich, balanced guitar arrangements and a more personal vocal approach.
Yusuf campaigns on many educational and humanitarian issues,he was awarded the 'Man of Peace' award by the Nobel Peace Laureates. In 2015 and he received the Lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio 2 and the Ivor Novello Award for outstanding song collection. He has received two honorary doctorates and awards for promoting peace from two organisations founded by Mikhail Gorbachev.
» 5th May 2016
After more than a decade of dedicated study and more than 1500 acclaimed concerts performing the work of much admired Songwriters and Poets: Cohen, Lorca, Drake, Neruda, Blake and Dylan Thomas, Keith is releasing what can only be described as an amazing landmark original Album entitled 'Always'. These 10 original songs (apart from Hiring Fair by Ralph McTell ), meticulously written and arranged, have come together slowly over the past 10 years or so and have matured with a strong sense of both personal and collective awareness, a tone that has been caught through older eyes; surreal, sub-textural, daring and provocative, showing anger and disturbance, humour, resolve, vision and sometimes compelling sadness.
Much has been drawn from those he has admired throughout his life - either consciously or otherwise.. along with kaleidoscope of colour from today's set of paradoxical assimilation we call reality.
TO LISTEN TO THE ALBUM AND READ THE REVIEWS SO FAR: Please click on CD cover image hear on the left.
» 12th October 2015
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