This spring and summer I had some great studio sessions with Patrick Watson and Howard Bilerman, including a series of sessions with Montreal’s own Adam Cohen. One of those sessions was for Adam’s late great father and my long time idol, Leonard Cohen. I still can’t believe I got to sing on a Leonard Cohen track, even though it hasn’t yet been released. During the summer of 2016 I listened to I’m Your Man and The Future for a few times every week. I still can’t get his voice out of my head.
My first session with Adam was particularly memorable because I didn’t know he was any relation to Leonard Cohen. I knew he was from LA, so I assumed he was a west coast songwriter with a buttery voice (which he most certainly is)…so when Adam sang in his mid range, I told him his voice sounded Leonard Coheny in that register. My compliment was met with silence, and then I got that awful foot-in-mouth feeling. How could I have missed the family resemblance? He must hear that all the time! Overhearing our conversation on the vocal mics, Howard instantly texted me a picture of Adam and Leonard together with a LOL caption from the control room. That was so far my favorite way to start a collaboration.
My biggest regret leaving Montreal when I did was that I wasn’t there to join in the candlelight vigils around the Cohen residence. There’s something really special about mourning a poet, especially one so beloved by an entire city.
So now for the I played my last show in Montreal with my friends Avec Le Soleil Sortant de Sa Bouche and Yoo Doo Right at the end of August, surrounded by friends and Patrick joined us onstage for Floodgates. Less than a month later, I drove a 26′ foot truck out to British Columbia, where I’m building a studio and working on songs for my third album (that’s right, my third one). We drove across Canada with a futon in the back of the truck and camped out at beautiful vistas along the way, nearly lost my two cats in Thunder Bay (turned on the air brakes while taking them on a walk), and our truck got egged by teenagers just outside of Regina. I guess maybe our American license plates might as well have been a bullseye.