Concert to celebrate Leonard Cohen songs

Herald Series: Keith James Keith James

FANS of the Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen should enjoy the next offering in the Folk at the Unicorn series of concerts, writes Colin Palmer.

Acoustic guitarist and singer Keith James will be performing The Songs of Leonard Cohen at the Unicorn Theatre, Checker Walk, Abingdon, on Thursday, April 5.

Subtitled Each song stripped back — desolate, naked and sensual, James’ concert will also include poems by Cohen and 20th-century Spanish poet and dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca which he has set to music. More than 2,000 versions of Cohen’s songs have been recorded by other artists worldwide. James said: “I’m endeavouring to pare each song back to its central core and original sense of purpose by performing each song as near to the way it was originally written, exposing Cohen’s unprecedented sense of humanity.”

With a career in music spanning 30 years, James has set up a recording studio and worked as a producer and a sound engineer as well as releasing albums of his own, which have included his interpretations of songs by Nick Drake and Lorca’s poetry.

Last autumn, James presented a concert, The Great Canadian Songbook, with his own interpretation of songs by Neil Young and Joni Mitchell as well as Cohen. Doors for the gig open at 7.30pm, with the music starting at 8pm. Tickets £10 in advance are available from the Folk at the Unicorn box office, WeGotTickets, Skiddle or Remade Guitars, Coxeter House, Abingdon.

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