Happy Friday! I know this is an especially happy Friday for me because I am riding the coattails of my 10 miler last night. Thank you endorphins for this little bonus. I’m hoping that this will mean that my work day flies by…well…a girl can hope, right?
In celebration of some of my favourite singer songwriters announced that they will make tour stops in my city this week, I’m providing my top five list of these folks…hope you check them out.
1. Leonard Cohen. What can I say about this acclaimed poet laureate, singer song writer and Canadian who has been name dropped in a Nirvana song? Apparently, when he isn’t on tour and is home in his native Montreal, he will chat with you if you come to his house!?!?!? Might have to try doing this one day. Anyway, I had the privilege of seeing the writer of the infamous and often covered Hallelujah, Bird on a Wire, Closing Time, Everybody Knows, I’m Your Man, etc., two years ago…and it was mind-blowing–the show was PERFECT…and he can still sing, despite his age (he will be 79 this year!). If you have never listened to him and you like well written lyrics, check him out. My favourite songs are:Closing Time, Ain’t No Cure for Love, Tower of Song, Hallelujah, First We Take Manhattan, and Show Me the Place.
P.S. If you want to check out another amazing interpretation of Hallelujah that isn’t sung by a karaoke tv show star, please check out fellow Canadian K.D. Lang. I’ve seen her do this song live, twice (ironically I was at the show featured in the clip I linked)…and it gave me chills….which may or may not come through on You Tube for you all at home.
2. Neil Young. Hailing from Winnipeg (and proud of it), this man can really write a song. I’ve had the privileged of seeing Neil about half a dozen times and I could easily watch him half a dozen more. Granted, I am not a huge fan of his harder stuff (namely the stuff with Crazy Horse), but, seriously, songs like Heart of Gold, Harvest, Harvest Moon, Helpless, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Unknown Legend. I highly recommend giving Neil a proper listen.
P.S. Ms. K.D. Lang also does a great cover of Mr. Neil Young’s big hit, Helpless–again–when you see it live, it will give you those wonderful chills.
3. Billy Bragg. This guy, whoa. Saw him a number of years ago (and he just announced a date in Winnipeg at the WORST venue in the city…so bad that I am considering not going, which breaks my heart more than anyone can know). I went to see Billy Bragg at a small theatre in Winnipeg, knowing only the songs he did with Wilco on the Mermaid Sessions, which is essentially amazing covers of Woody Guthrie songs. Anyway, he told lots of interesting stories about his life, his songs, and his inspirations (i love these kind of story telling shows) and a few of his songs were so beautiful and heart wrenching that I began crying. I have never cried at a concert before. Amazing. I definitely recommend checking him out.
4. Steve Earle. He’s controversial. He’s political. He’s had quite the past. He’s awesome. His ability to write a song far beats anyone in music today. His songs have a country folk edge with hints of pop, rock, rap…it’s just amazing. The sad thing is that most people simply associate him with Copperhead Road (which is a great song), but he has so much more great stuff. Definitely try to find some of his stuff (I couldn’t find any on youTube, but GrooveShark does have some tracks). Try Galway Girl (made famous by the movie P.S. I Love You with Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank), Telephone Road, Home To Houston, Harlan Man, Condi Condi, Satellite radio, Jericho Road and Meet Me In The Alleyway. There’s more, but seriously, I can’t list all 40 songs of his that i love.
5. Johnny Cash. I don’t think I can say much about him…except that he is amazing and you need to check him out. One of my favourite songs is also one of his more controversial–check it out: Delia’s Gone. Oh and def. check out his old Columbia Records stuff as well as the albums he did with Rick Rubin–called American Recordings. Mind = blown. (oh and he covers Mr. Leonard Cohen on these albums btw).
Much Luv and Happy Friday Y’all! Let me know some of your favourite singer songwriters in the comments–I love discovering new music!