Leonard Cohen and His Women

SXSW panel reviews

Ballroom Dancing
by Gary Miller

Leonard Cohen and His Women

Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 14

The impact of the XX chromosome carriers on Leonard Cohen splays out in his lyrics and the occasional tabloid-style story about his life. Qualifying exactly what it is about women that sparks his art proved a challenge. With moderation from biographer Sylvie Simmons, singers Julie Christensen and Perla Batalla (Cohen's touring partners since the I'm Your Man era), plus Ronee Blakley (his duet partner on the infamous Phil Spector-produced Death of a Ladies' Man), worked through their own experiences. After noting that Cohen was raised by women following the death of his father and that Judy Collins was his biggest early evangelist, the trio related what Cohen had told them. "The female presence allows me to speak more clearly," he told Batalla. Simmons quoted him as saying, "The female presence onstage is very important for a variety of reasons. One reason is because they're very spiritually evolved creatures." Ultimately, the panel was about the impact Cohen had on these women who clearly adore him, from the spiritual to the profane. And for all the stories told, that impact still comes through best in the songs that are his life's work, which the ladies underscored with renditions of "Anthem" and (using a ukelele provided by audience member Colin Gilmore) "Famous Blue Raincoat."

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Robert Earl Keen
Live Dinner Reunion (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 2, 2016

Texas Platters
Silas Lowe
Wandering Father, Forgotten Son (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Dec. 2, 2016

More by Michael Toland
Rock & Roll Books
Play It Loud
Play It Loud: The Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar

Dec. 9, 2016

Red Fang Sinks Its Hooks In
Red Fang Sinks Its Hooks In
Oregonian hard rockers can’t let up

Nov. 23, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)