Keith James Talks about the Songs of Leonard Cohen

On Saturday 23 June, singer and poet Keith James will be performing in the intimate surroundings of our Carole Nash Hall, celebrating the music and genius of songwriter Leonard Cohen.

We had a chat with Keith about his music, inspirations and what audiences can expect from this show.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your career as a musician?

I have been a musician throughout the whole of my working life – I celebrate 50 years in music this year. I have always been drawn towards writing, recording and performing deeply honest and thought provoking songs. I have recorded 13 Albums of my own material, with a brand new one entitled WORD PAINTINGS being released on Monday 10 June. I spent a middle decade of my music career working as a record producer… towards the end of that sidestep, I couldn’t wait to get back to live performance. I perform around 80 – 100 concerts a year in the UK.

What first drew you to performing Leonard Cohen’s music?

The beauty and honesty in his writing.

black and white image of Keith James, wearing a hat and playing guitar

How do you go about choosing the songs for a concert like this?

I realise that for the most part, audiences like to hear the earlier classic songs like Suzannne, Bird on a Wire and Famous Blue Raincoat, so I make a point of including those no matter what. I also like to present songs of his which are beautifully crafted, but less well known, for example: In My Secret Life, Coming Back to You, Take This Waltz. This gives the concert balance and dynamism.

What do you hope audiences will take away from the show?

The affirmation that Leonard Cohen is a wonderful writer, and hopefully, that I am a good interpretive artist and a devoted performer of his work.


Book your tickets for Keith James: The Songs of Leonard Cohen Saturday 23 June, 5pm, here.

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Find out more about Keith James and his music here.


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