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Lauryn Hill is one of the few artists for whom my affection has never waned. I saw her in her mainstream prime in 1998. Recently, I caught up with Ms. Hill again. Her voice is as honest as ever. Sure, her rearrangements of older material display distinct signs of mania. She relies a little too heavily on the Bob Marley box set to fill out her 2.5 + hour show, but I don’t care because there’s nobody alive I would rather hear singing Bob Marley covers than Ms. Lauryn Hill. She fusses at her band, the lighting guy, and the sound tech. She’s a true artist and has the temperament to match. She makes the best stanky faces when the going gets good. Yeah, she’s late to start, but she’s also late to finish. We didn’t get out of there until 1:30 am. Ms. Lauryn Hill doesn’t come cheap, but she gives you your money’s worth. Catch her if you can because she’s blessed with rare genius.
Billie HolidayFrancis Ford CoppolaRavi ShankarBill BellamyJanis Ian
Recently, I had the privilege of seeing Leonard Cohen live. One of my most thoughtful and generous friends laid two tickets on me for a special occasion. (Thanks Dez!)I think we can use the word “icon” liberally here without quibbling. Cohen’s lengthy career boasts genius contributions both past and present. He stacks the odds by surrounding himself with other incomparable musical masters like Roscoe Beck, Alexandru Bublitchi, Rafael Gayol, Neil Larsen, Javier Mas, Sharon Robinson, Mitch Watkins, and Charlie and Hattie Webb. Perhaps none of those names are familiar to you and that’s fine. Just know these are the caliber of musicians that instruments are named after – musicians’ musicians. I know what you are thinking… Leonard Cohen is old as fuck, does he still have it? Spry, smart, sexy and humble, he not only holds his own against performers a quarter of his age, he outright shames them. Leonard Cohen is the canon. When you see a man like Leonard Cohen live, you know what it is to be in the midst of greatness, and it is a rare privilege.
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