Leonard Cohen's U.S. tour to open at Austin's Long Center April 2.

Leonard Cohen doffs his hat in and to Montreal, 2008
Leonard Cohen doffs his hat in and to Montreal, 2008 (by Denis Alix)

Not Bruce, Cohen. Veteran Austin bassist Roscoe Beck, musical director for the live juggernaut of one of popular music’s true ‘poets,’ dropped us an email this week to announce that, “the Leonard Cohen 2009 U.S. tour begins in Austin, Texas, April 2 at the Long Center!”

This will be Cohen’s first local landing since an appearance at the Backyard in 1993. Given that the 74-year-old word mystic hasn’t toured since then and is only doing so now because his former manager siphoned his entire savings, it’s easy to assume this might also be the last opportunity to witness a singer-songwriter that makes Dylan look like a reactionary and Waits sound like a busker.

I won the lottery in seeing Cohen kick off his tour last June in his native city during the Montreal Jazz Festival. Suffice it to say, I still haven’t recovered. Now, every time his name comes up, I can think only one thing: “Hallelujah.”

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Leonard Cohen's U.S. tour kick-off in Austin, Leonard Cohen

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