The Bard of Montreal. The community of Canadian music is an amazing thing. Here, twenty-five artists signed up to donate time, recording studios and effort to pay tribute to one of Canada’s greatest poets. Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas, a record so powerful and alive you start to wonder if Mr. Cohen will ever run out of steam, is the type of record that connects and inspires. It should receive awards – those as indie as the Polaris and those are far reaching as the Junos. Unfortunately, we don’t have the means or deep pockets (and no Christmas songs that could rise to the top) to give Leonard anything but our respect and love.
We asked our favorite bands to find a Cohen song that meant something to them and record it in the humblest, scrappiest way them could find. The results hiss and sigh, but they also soar. There are delightful stunning studio creations and humble, intimate bedroom recordings. There are punk rock guitars and glockenspiels. There are passionate moments, heartache and fire. There is everything that makes Leonard, well, Leonard.
We have twenty-four covers, and a spoken word piece from Mark Berube that shows admiration towards Leonard, but also helps gives us a look at the community of music in Montreal, a city that Leonard walks about freely as an equal. We have artists from Coast to Coast, including gems from The Heavy Blinkers (!!!!), Old Man Luedecke, INTRSTLLR, Kathryn Calder and many, many, many more. We couldn’t be prouder of this, and hopefully you fall in love with Cohen again, but also with the artists we feature here. If you do, buy a record or go to a show. Keep this community thriving.
Here are the artists, and the songs. Download the entire record here.
The Bard of Montreal – Mark Berube
Who By Fire – Kathryn Calder
Show Me the Place – Laila Biali
Paper Thin Hotel – The Heavy Blinkers
The Partisan – Bleating Hearts
The Law – Doug Hoyer ft. Mitch Holtby on sax
Bird on a Wire – Andrew Vincent
That Don’t Make it Junk – Daniel Ledwell
If It Be Your Will – Old Believer
One of Us Can’t Be Wrong – Zachary Lucky & Carly Maicher
Last Year’s Man – Tyler Butler
Memories – The Burning Hell ft. Katie Baggs
So Long, Marianne – Foam Lake
Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye – Ox (vocals by Ryan Bishops and mastered by A. David MacKinnon)
True Love Leaves No Traces – Extra Happy Ghost!
First We Take Manhattan – Les Jupes
LOVER LOVER LOVER – INTERSTLLR
So Long, Marianne – The Strumbellas
Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye – Pleasure Cruise
The Future – Weekend Dads
Avalanche – Cold Water
The Partisan – Teenage Kicks ft. Meaghan Pearce
Lady Midnight – Klarka Weinwurm
Closing Time – Old Man Luedecke
Chelsea Hotel #2 – Woodpigeon