Bird on a Wire ~ June 27
Allison Crowe sings to be free. Herewith, Leonard
Cohen's "Bird on the Wire".
The bi-coastal Canadian musician's lyrical interpretation is, characteristically, both, powerful and intimate. Crowe's singular way of communicating emotion, not sentimentality, once more takes wing with Cohen's weighty words and waltzing melody.
This Leonard Cohen classic has been covered by Jennifer Warnes (on 1987’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” collection AKA “Jenny Sings Lenny”), as well as by Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Bob Benvenuti, Katey Sagal (for the US tv program “Sons of Anarchy”), Tim Hardin, The Neville Brothers… in total, more than 140 recording artists since its release on Cohen’s 1969 album “Songs from a Room”. Judy Collins, who introduced the songs of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and other great songwriters to wide audiences “early on”, came out with her cover of the song months earlier - in November 1968 (on her album “Who Knows Where the Time Goes”).
During a recent engagement with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Allison Crowe performed Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. (“Crowe's version is a living thing, a meditation and a celebration and a benediction" notes one blogger.) Nightly, on the same stage, Crowe and the ballet audience was treated to a rootsy rendition of “Bird on the Wire” by the combo of Renée Lamoureux, Keith Macpherson, (the Winnipeg vocal/guitar duo “Keith and Renée”), Kevin Torgalson, bass, and Scott Senior, percussion.
Now, Allison Crowe delivers her own take. (btw, this version is not part of the dance program) With a tip of the hat to Karen Sparkes and Gerri Lynn Mackey of Radio CFCB 570 AM, home to Classic Country Café, and Steve Pollett of K-Rock 103.9 FM, sister stations debuting this recording.