NEWS: Official Leonard Cohen Merchandise Now Available

Announced today on Facebook's Official Leonard Cohen page, a new merchandise store has opened offering OFFICIAL Leonard Cohen merchandise. Check it out.

NEWS: Songs From The Road Now Available

From SONY - Newsletter and Press Kit Video for Songs From The Road:


Songs From The Road - Out Now!

Available now is SONGS FROM THE ROAD - featuring some of Leonard Cohen's most heralded collection of live performances from his recent world tour.



SONGS FROM THE ROAD not only showcases Cohen's consummate artistry as a concert performer, it is also a tribute to his enduring worldwide popularity at this time in his career. One dozen of Leonard Cohen's most famous songs from the stunning recent world tour performances - at auditorium halls, festivals, arenas, and stadiums from Tel Aviv to London, from across Europe to the California desert and his native Canada - are now collected on SONGS FROM THE ROAD.

As a bonus, the DVD and Blu-ray configurations will include a 20-minute "behind the scenes" backstage interview with the individual band members.

SONGS FROM THE ROAD represents every decade of Cohen's life as a recording artist, showcasing many of his most enduring songs and greatest hits.

SONGS FROM THE ROAD is available now in CD+DVD, Blu-Ray, and Vinyl LP packages in stores and online here. To see the full tracklisting and bonus features, and to order your copy, go to SonyMusicDigital.com/Leonard-Cohen now!

www.leonardcohen.com


And here is the press kit video celebrating the album:

NEWS: Leonard Cohen Adds Four 'Final' North American Tour Dates

From Spinner

Leonard Cohen Adds Four 'Final' North American Tour Dates

Posted on Sep 7th 2010 11:44PM by Benjy Eisen

Now approaching age 76, Leonard Cohen has announced what is ominously being billed as his "final four North American dates." Thankfully, the context appears to just be for his current world tour, which began in 2008 and saw the iconic performer play three-hour marathon concerts to packed arenas and venues everywhere; however, Cohen himself did hint at retirement several times along the tour path. Even when his career was in full swing, Cohen often took an excessively long time between albums and tours as he pursued other interests and he would drop out of the public eye for years at a clip.

That said, Cohen does plan to return to the studio in 2011, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that he'll grace the next generation with his awesome stage presence and his impeccable performances. But, for now, there will only be four more chances to see him in concert, in North America, and they are all at intimate 3,000-seat venues.

On Dec. 4, Cohen will perform in Honolulu, Hawaii followed by a Dec. 8 engagement in Portland, Ore. After that, Cohen will head to an oasis in the desert for a two-night stand, beginning Dec. 10, in Las Vegas, Nev. Those shows will take place in the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace, which has been home to resident shows by Cher, Celine Dion and Elton John. Unfortunately, Cohen's "residency" there will only be for a weekend and don't expect any showgirls -- expect show stopper after show stopper instead.

http://www.spinner.com/2010/09/07/leonard-cohen-adds-four-final-north-american-dates/

NEWS: Additional Tour Dates to Be Announced

The final tour dates of the Leonard Cohen World Tour will be announced on September 6, 2010 on The Leonard Cohen Forum. Information released thus far:

4-Dec: to be announced on September 6
8-Dec: to be announced on September 6
10 & 11-Dec: to be announced on September 6

For info on tickets see The Leonard Cohen Forum.

NEWS: Updates on Odense, Berlin and Gent Concerts

The Leonard Cohen World Tour is on a one week hiatus hopefully getting much sun and R&R. Before they took their break, they took Odense, Denmark, Berlin, Germany and Gent, Belgium by storm. There were three concerts in Gent in St. Peter's Square with a beautiful backdrop.

The new songs, Born In Chains, The Darkness, and Feels So Good, are now regulars on the set list each night. Those outside the barrier in Gent during soundcheck reported hearing a new song and some old favorites, which have yet to make their appearance on the set list during the world tour.

Youtubes are available for Odense, Berlin and Gent thanks to the brilliant work of those behind their cameras.

Here is the summary of reviews from these concerts. Read the full reviews on Speaking Cohen:


August 14, 2010
Odense, Denmark
Engen, Fruens Boege

"[A] sublime concert... [Cohen] was fantastic" -- Dagbladet Information

"A truly beautiful evening with an excellent band and a soloist,
who is still on top a month before his 76 birthday...
Now we just need a new album from the man...
I can hardly wait." -- Gaffa


August 18, 2010
Berlin, Germany
Waldbuhne

"Leonard Cohen is a talented lyricist and singer,
and he has written some of the most beautiful love songs of the 20th Century.
His "golden voice carries" them with fresh varnish throughout the world...
He gives himself to the audience... Watching him, opens the heart." -- Der Tagesspiegel

"Thank God...for Leonard Cohen, who has never sung better,
never more moving than now, with almost 76 years." -- Der Tagesspiegel

"Like a good red wine Leonard Cohen is getting better with age." -- Noows

"[A] stunning concert with one of the most moving song poets of our day" -- Welt


August 20, 21 & 22, 2010
Gent, Belgium
Sint-Pietersplein (St Peter's Square)

"[G]reat concert... Mr. Cohen came, saw and conquered my heart" -- Noows

"Absolutely world class." -- De Standaard

"Cohen and his band brought the audience into raptures over three hours." -- Nieuwsblad

NEWS: Updates on Stockholm, Helsinki, and Gothenburg

The Leonard Cohen World Tour continues to roll on. The concert on August 12 in Gothenburg marked the 200th show. It was reported that this was also the longest Cohen concert yet, nearly four hours. Congratulations to Leonard Cohen and the Unified Hearts Touring Company.

The new songs, Born In Chains, The Darkness, and Feels So Good, continue to thrill audiences each night. Rumor has it another new song is being worked on during sound checks.

Youtubes are available for Stockholm, Helsinki, and Gothenburg . Oh, and in Helsinki, the quick fingers of MaartenLC managed to capture Leonard hand whistling his way through Heart With No Companion.

Here is the summary of reviews from these concerts. Read the full reviews on Speaking Cohen:


August 8, 2010 Stockholm, Sweden

"[Cohen] is in impressive form" -- SvD


August 10, 2010 Helsinki, Finland

"[Cohen's] voice is at its peak... a mammoth show of intensity and commitment" -- HBL.fi

"Cohen gave the audience everything... a memorable evening" -- Svenska.YLE

"The grand master gave everything" -- Aamulehti, Tampere


August 12, 2010 Gothenburg/Göteborg

"Cohen offers a delightful evening with all the favorites" -- Göteborgs-Posten

""An event with an elaborate perfectionism, but...
Leonard Cohen never loses empathy or feeling...
music that sounds like a whisper and feels like a caress" -- Expressen

"[A] spiritual, a funny and a very carnal affair... a perfect show" -- Nordjyske

NEWS: Tour Date - September 12, 2010

A new concert date has been announced for Leonard Cohen's 2010 World Tour:

September 12, 2010
Ourense, Spain
Pazo dos Dep Paco Paz-Ourense.

Also, there is a new venue for the Bratislava, Slovakia concert on October 13, 2010:

NTC Sibamac Arena.

Ticket info can be found on The Leonard Cohen Forum.

NEWS: Updates on Malmo and Oslo Concerts

A short summary of the reviews from Leonard's concerts in Malmo and Oslo is listed below. Leonard continues to include his news songs, Born In Chains, Feels So Good and The Darkness, in his set lists. Democracy was added during the Malmo concert and in Oslo, Leonard again sang A Singer Must Die.

Youtubes for the Malmo concert are here. No youtubes have been added yet for the Oslo concert.

The full reviews of the Malmo and Oslo concerts, along with photos and set lists, can be found on Speaking Cohen.


August 4, 2010 - Malmö - Sweden Malmö Arena

"[M]ore than three-hour show of aplomb and elegance...
His concert in Malmö Arena impresses on so many levels" -- HD.se


August 6, 2010 - Oslo, Norway - Oslo Spektrum

"[H]e held the audience spellbound...
the power of his art... remains remarkable" -- VG Nett

"Cohen has assembled a brilliant band of musicians
who are among the very best in the industry.
Leonard Cohen clearly loves his audience, almost as much as they love him." -- Puls

"Having performed these songs... many times he gives them new life,...
as if he performed them for the first time." -- Dagbladet

NEWS: Updates on Graz and Sligo Concerts

Below is a summary of the reviews from Leonard's concerts in Graz and Sligo. In both Graz and Sligo, Leonard played his new songs "Born In Chains" and "Feels So Good." In addition, at the two Sligo concerts, Leonard played his new song "The Darkness." And for the first time during this World Tour, Leonard performed "A Singer Must Die" at the first concert in Sligo. Leonard also recited a portion of the Yeats poem "In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz" at both concerts in Sligo.

Youtubes for the Graz concert are available here. Youtubes for the Sligo concerts can be found here. The Sligo Youtube channel has high quality versions of Born In Chains, The Darkness, Feels So Good, A Singer Must Die and the Yeats poem. Thanks to albertnoonan and messalina79 for their videorecording efforts.

Read the full reviews of the Graz concert and Sligo concerts on Speaking Cohen. You'll find the set lists and lots of photos.

July 28, 2010 - Graz, Austria - Stadthalle

"[An} unforgettable evening in song" -- Kleine Zeitung


July 31 & August 1, 2010 - Sligo, Ireland - The Lissadell House

"[T]he combined musical talent was overwhelming... The show...is terrific" - Irish Times

"Another mesmerising performance, evident in the thousands of beaming smiles all around" - Irish Independent

"[T]his was the most amazing concert I’ve ever been at... a night of perfection" - Drop-d Music Magazine

NEWS: Tour Date - September 10, 2010

An additional tour date has been added to Leonard Cohen's 2010 World Tour:


Atlantico Arena
Lisboa, Portugal
September 10, 2010

Check out The Leonard Cohen Forum for ticket info.

NEWS: Updates on Zagreb & Salzburg Concerts

Below is a summary of quotes from media reviews of Leonard Cohen's Zagreb and Salzburg concerts. You can read the reviews in full with plenty of photos and check out the set lists on Speaking Cohen. Leonard premiered a new song, "Born In Chains," in Salzburg. In addition, he performed "Feels So Good," a new song first heard last year.

I have organized youtube playlist for Zagreb and Salzburg. There are plenty of high quality youtubes to watch of the Zagreb concert. The Salzburg playlist is still growing but includes the full version of "Born In Chains."

July 25, 2010, Zagreb, Croatia, Arena Zagreb

"Cohen's poetic, profound, but chivalrous and charming performance was truly magnificent... a truly beautiful and memorable concert" -- Jutarnji List

"[A] performance to remember" -- Net.hr

"[A] master performance... Leonard Cohen is a champion of his craft" - Muzika.hr

"[A]n unforgettable experience" -- SEEbiz

"From these concerts the world truly becomes
better and more beautiful simply because they remind us
of the angels and the divine within ourselves." -- Jutarnji.hr


July 27, 2010, Salzburg, Austria, Salzburgarena

"[A] church service of poetry and humility" -- Salzburger Nachrichten

"Cohen produced a concert, one of the greatest intensity." -- Salzburger Nachrichten

"Leonard Cohen wowed the audience" -- Tiroler Tageszeitung

NEWS: Angels in the Wings

To celebrate the upcoming Cohen concert at Lissadell House in Sligo, Ireland, the Irish Independent provides an interview with Leonard's backing singers, Sharon Robinson and Hattie and Charlie Webb.

And on backing vocals, ladies and gentlemen. . .


Irish Independent
Saturday July 24 2010
by Nick Kelly

Last week, we looked at the storied past of Lissadell House, the rural idyll that will play host to next weekend's concerts by Leonard Cohen in Sligo. This week, we managed to chew the cud with two of Cohen's multi-talented backing singers, who have played more than 200 shows with him over the past three years, including his Dublin shows at Kilmainham in 2008 and the O2 Arena last year.

If the 75-year-old Cohen is the wise elder statesman, then his chorus of Sharon Robinson (his longtime friend and collaborator) and Charley and Hattie Webb (aka the Webb Sisters) add sex appeal and glamour to the equation, as well as their own unique musical gifts (Hattie, for instance, plays a 22-string Celtic harp during 'If It Be Your Will').

Sharon, originally from San Francisco but raised in Los Angeles, first sang with Leonard Cohen in 1979 when he was touring the album Field Commander Cohen.

She would go on to co-write the classic Cohen compositions 'Everybody Knows' (from I'm Your Man) and 'Waiting For The Miracle' (from The Future) and later co-write and produce his magnificent 'comeback' album Ten New Songs in 2001 (she also appears alongside Cohen on the album cover).

A number of these tracks ('In My Secret Life', 'Alexandra Leaving', 'A Thousand Kisses Deep') provide some of the highlights of the current live set. There's an elegance about the way Sharon sings and carries herself that really comes to the fore when she takes lead vocals on 'Boogie Street', her stirring, soulful alto transporting the audience to some slinky, smokey jazz club of the mind.

So how did Sharon meet Leonard?

"I had been doing a lot of recording sessions as a backing singer in Los Angeles. At the time I was working with Ann-Margret in her Vegas show at Ceasar's Palace. She had the biggest show on the strip at that time," Sharon recalls.

"My name was given to Jennifer Warnes (Cohen's chief backing singer at that time) because she was given the job of finding the singer who would go out and work with her on that tour. Fortunately for me, it all worked out."

In the 1990s, Cohen took a long hiatus from the music business when he famously holed up in the Zen Buddhist monastery in Mount Baldy, California, for five years. Was Sharon still in contact with him during his time living with the monks?

"We stayed in touch as we always have," she says. "At some point he decided to leave there and come back to Boogie Street, as it were. We got together and much to my great surprise he asked me to start working on what turned out to be Ten New Songs."

What was the writing process like for Sharon on that album?

"It would usually start with the words -- he'd give me a verse or a few verses, or sometimes a whole completed lyric, and then I would take it away and come up with ideas for melodies.

"I would work on my acoustic piano, initially. Once the idea was decided on, I would go into my studio and start putting together tracks. For that record, we ended up not really bringing in musicians much. Bob Metzger played guitar on 'In My Secret Life' but mostly it was my own work in the studio using sampling.

"He was enjoying the contrast between the organic sounds of the voices and the electronic background."

As well as working with Cohen, Sharon has written songs for the likes of Aaron Neville, Patti Labelle and Diana Ross. With such a pedigree, it comes as something of a surprise to find that Sharon only released her debut solo album, Everybody Knows, in 2008. It features several Cohen numbers, on which she has put her own bluesy stamp.

After doing Ten New Songs, it was clear to me that I could put something together on my own," Sharon explains. "Having wanted to do an album for my entire career, and with a lot of encouragement from Leonard and a lot of validation that came out of his record, I decided to figure out what my own voice would be as an artist.

"But I'm looking forward to singing again with Leonard in Ireland -- it seems to me that Irish audiences have a special connection to Leonard and his body of work."

Singing alongside Sharon on stage in Lissadell will be Charley and Hattie Webb.

The sisters hail from Kent in England -- but are currently living in Los Angeles. Their latest four-song EP, The Other Side, is available on iTunes and their forthcoming album is titled Savages. So how did they get caught in Leonard's web?

"Hattie and I were in Los Angeles making our own album with Peter Asher (legendary producer who worked with James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt). Sharon gave us a call -- we were already friends and had worked together the previous year writing songs together -- and said Leonard's looking for people to sing with him, so why don't you come along. We went along and Sharon and Hattie and I sang together. Sharon's got this fantastic, rich, soulful voice and a big range.

"And Hattie has quite a husky voice and she can be bluesy when she wants to be. My voice, which is a bit higher, seems to fit theirs somehow. We get on great, as people and as voices."

Had Charley always been a big Cohen fan?

"I got to know some of his best songs a couple of decades after they became famous," she says. "The recordings that most of us get to know are from that time when his voice was significantly higher. Occasionally he decides to sing something in that range and it still sounds phenomenal. But he does seem to have got that depth -- maybe it's from the smoking and the pontificating!" she laughs.

What does it feel like on stage?

"I feel that weightiness when the concert's under way. I feel that it's Leonard's presence, and his connection to each person in the audience. He has this magic of somehow being able to sing a song that applies to each person, and you feel like he's written it for you. And he's so honourable and gentlemanly on stage -- whether you're on stage with the band or sitting in the audience, It's an honour to be around him. There's a sense of greatness."

In the O2, Charley and Hattie got a big cheer when they surprised us all with a synchronised backwards head stand mid-song. How did that come about? "We all have a great time in rehearsals," says Charley. "It came to pass during the song 'The Future' -- there was all kinds of different dancing going on between different band members. Then one day, when Leonard sang the line 'And the white girls dancing', we started doing some gymnastics. When he laughs hard, he laughs with no sound. That happened for a moment, and then he insisted that we do it in the next concert! And that request goes on and on!"

Leonard Cohen plays Lissadell House, Co Sligo, next Saturday and Sunday. For more info, visit: www.sharonrobinsonmusic.com and www.thewebbsisters.com

http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/and-on-backing-vocals-ladies-and-gentlemen-2270954.html

NEWS: The Lissadell House Story

The story behind the Lissadell House in Sligo, Ireland, the site of Leonard Cohen's two outdoor concert dates on July 31 and August 1:

"When Two Old Treasures Meet" by Nick Kelly, Irish Independent, July 17, 2010

Thanks to Michael Purcell and Dick Straub for the article.

NEWS: Notes from the Road

Here is something every die-hard Leonard Cohen fan has dreamed of, to be invited backstage on the Leonard Cohen tour. Well, road manager Joseph Carenza is offering us a virtual opportunity to do this with his blog "Notes from the Road." We begin with the rehearsal wrap party with a few celebs in attendance, observe the packing of the equipment and instruments while meeting a few of the key crew members and then we hit the road for Croatia, stop one on the 2010 tour.

Further, Joey is also tweeting the latest for eager fans. What more could we ask for?

Thanks to Joey Carenza for sharing with Cohen fans and for his wonderful photo eye.

NEWS: Release of Tony Palmer's Bird on a Wire Documentary

Here are the details on the release of Tony Palmer's documentary Bird on a Wire. This documentary was originally released in 1972 and now has been re-edited for this new release.



Leonard Cohen’s Bird On A Wire Coming To DVD
By Evan Schlansky on July 19th, 2010

On August 31, MVD Visual will release Bird On A Wire, a 1972 film by experimental British filmmaker Tony Palmer (200 Motels, All My Loving) that has since faded into obscurity. The footage is taken from Cohen’s 1972 tour, and captures 17 song performances and four poems. The original film is lost, but Palmer has re-edited it after being reunited with the actual tapes, which were presumed missing.



“When, in 2009, 294 cans of film were discovered in a warehouse in Hollywood,” says Palmer, “in rusted up cans that sometimes had to be hammered open, and these cans were shipped to me by, of all people, Frank Zappa’s manager, I believed at first that nothing could be salvaged. The cans did not contain the negative (still lost); some of the prints were in black & white; and much of it had been cut to pieces and/or scratched beyond use. But when I finally opened one box and found most of the original sound dubbing tracks, I knew we had a hope of putting the jigsaw back together. So now, taking full advantage of the latest digital technology, this is what we have done, piece by piece, slowly and painstakingly. It has taken months and months, and probably has cost more than the original filming, and although it’s by no means perfect, it’s very close now to the original.”

Tracks on the DVD include “Avalanche,” “Suzanne,” “Tonight Will Be Fine,” “Passing Through,” “Sisters of Mercy,” “Who By Fire?,” “Story of Isaac,” “One Of Us Can’t Be Wrong,” “The Partisan,” “Chelsea Hotel,” “Nancy,” “Famous Blue Raincoat,” and “Bird On A Wire.”

“Now, looking back after 38 years, my admiration for Cohen as a poet, a singer and as a man, remains undiminished,” says Palmer. “The original film was made with love, and I hope that quality once again shines through the restored film.”

Bird On A Wire hits stores a month before Songs From The Road, a CD/DVD combo from Cohen’s 2009 tour.

From American Songwriter