Posts Tagged ‘Leonard Cohen’

Keith MorrisThroughout history, there have been issues that made people stand up and take notice. And some of those issues even resulted in the more vocal groups within the people to demand change. Times like the Vietnam era where America became embroiled within someone else’s fight led to people becoming rather vocal and taking stands against what they knew was wrong. We are currently living within yet another era where people are taking a stand against things that they believe are not right. And just like the Vietnam era, a lot of musicians are adding their voices to the fight. One singer-songwriter making his opinion known is Charlottesville, Virginia-based Keith Morris.  

Charlottesville, Virginia-based Keith Morris was largely influenced by many singer-songwriters who have made their voices heard over the years. One such person who had a large influence on Morris was Leonard Cohen. With how vocal Cohen had been during his lifetime, the songwriter would have had plenty to say about what is going on in the country today. But Cohen died before things like the election of Donald Trump happened. That event as well as several other newsworthy others would have been just right for Cohen to write about if he had lived just a little while longer. To make up for that, Keith Morris has created an entire album of songs that have their beginnings in real-life events that are now sending shockwaves through the nation. Originally entitled “Trump Songs for Leonard Cohen” (a title that was abandoned when Morris was told he could not use it), the new album from Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers is called Psychopaths and Sycophants.

The album of Psychopaths and Sycophants from Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers begins with the track “The Future”. This track was originally written and recorded by Leonard Cohen when he started looking at what the future may actually hold for mankind. Looking back at what the songwriter had written, the track’s lyrics seem rather haunting as a lot of what Cohen had predicted has taken place. But the track as recorded by the band gives the song a lot of energy as the Rock and Roll within the song contains a driving feel to the music. That driving feel gives the track more of an upbeat approach than the lyrics seem to contain.

Along with “The Future,” Morris and the band also do an interpretation of yet another Cohen composition entitled “In My Secret Life”. While the original version from Cohen was created around the sound of the guitar, the inclusion of the organ on the new version from Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers gives the track a slightly more upbeat feel. And the slightly quicker musical delivery also adds to that more upbeat feel. Add to that the Gospel Choir in the background and “In My Secret Life” brings the new release from the band to a close on a strong note.

In-between the two tracks originally written by Leonard Cohen, Psychopaths and Sycophants from Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers finds the singer-songwriter and his band approaching very controversial topics. The song “What Happened to Your Party” covers the topic of when people within a party get firmly behind a certain candidate for president (Trump) and those people leave their beliefs behind to follow blindly along. The song “Charlottesville by Name” finds Keith Morris creating a tune written in response to the hatred and violence that took place within a rally where several people were killed. And the track “The Narcissist” deals with a man who is too stuck on himself to see the big picture of what is going on around him. And of course, the title track of “Psychopaths and Sycophants” deals with all of the wrong people who are running things today. These tracks and others give Psychopaths and Sycophants its politically-charged feel.

While the subject matter contained within the nine songs that make up Psychopaths and Sycophants is very political, the musical side of the album finds Keith Morris and the rest of The Crooked Numbers creating music that is widely varied. Throughout the tracks on the album, the Folk, Rock, Gospel and other musical influences blend together to create an album that is as musical diverse as the political themes that run through the subject matter. That musical diversity proves that there is a lot more to Keith Morris than just the emotional side to the writer that drives his desire to take a stand; there’s also a musician side that helps to shape the way his songs sound.

 

Psychopaths and Sycophants from Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers has yet to be released. The album will be available in the very near future. Stay tuned to the website for Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers to stay updated. But until the newest release from Morris and the band is available, check out the title track to the upcoming album.

For more information, check out the PR firm for the band, Whiplash PR.  

DruCutler-PressShot_WebTampa, Florida native Dru Cutler has been making a name for himself for the past few years aby assuming many different roles in the recording industry. Whether as a musician, songwriter or film composer, Cutler has been an omnipresent presence in the Brooklyn area as he creates his own music and helps others to bring their projects to life. Having already released one album of his own music entitled Familiar, Dru Cutler is currently in the middle of creating his newest release; an album entitled Bring Closer the Distance. While still in the process of bringing the project to a close, Cutler has released a two-song EP as a way of promoting the upcoming album. The new two-song EP from Dru Cutler consists of the songs “Oceanside” and the Leonard Cohen track “Dance Me to the End of Love”.

Dru Cutler’s new two-song EP begins with the track “Oceanside”. Cutler wrote the track as a way of dealing with the relationship of his parents. The letter that the track is based around was written during a long-distance relationship between his parents. The lyrics about one of the parties being on one side of the country while the other misses them have a definite sadness to them. That sadness is matched up well with the moderate pace of the track. That moderate pace and slightly laidback energy level to the pop-rock music in the song creates a track that would fit in on Hot Adult Contemporary radio formats.

The second track on the new EP from Dru Cutler is his take on the Leonard Cohen-penned song “Dance Me to the End of Love”. Just like other songs written by Leonard Cohen, and especially with his strangely popular song of “Hallelujah,” there is something more to the lyrics of the track of “Dance Me to the End of Love” than is evident in the recorded song. The deeply haunting lyrics about dancing to the music in order to try to mentally escape the atrocities going on around you make for a very powerful piece of poetry. When matched up with the original music from Cohen, the inclusion of the violin added a definite Jewish flavor to the track. Plus, the rather lengthy playtime of the tune allowed for a slow dance to occur when listening to the song. And the slow pace to the song allowed for the sadness within the meaning of the lyrics to shine through. When Dru Cutler did this newly-recorded version, he included the violin to the music to give the song a good deal of familiarity when comparing his and Cohen’s versions. However, the more upbeat feel of the song and quicker pace to the music took away some of the sting that was meant to exist in the words. But the more upbeat version by Dru Cutler of Leonard Cohen’s song has probably ensured a wider audience for the track.

The new two-song EP from Dru Cutler containing the tracks “Oceanside” and “Dance Me to the End of Love” gives the listener a good indication of Cutler’s ability as a songwriter as well as his abilities as song arranger. The two different sides to Cutler’s personality as a musician come through in a very strong way on this release. And since this EP is just a small sample of what is to come from Dru Cutler’s upcoming album entitled Bring Closer the Distance, the listener is left with the desire to hear more. Luckily, it won’t be long until that desire is fulfilled.

To check out the new two-song EP from Dru Cutler containing the tracks “Oceanside” and “Dance Me to the End of Love,” check out this link HERE.

For more information, check out Dru Cutler’s PR Firm, Whiplash PR.