Songs of the Poets celebrates two of the most revered songwriters and musicians within popular music, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. This Hand in Hand Theatre Production features a nine piece band of local musicians led by charismatic singer Calli Hughes
The show consists of two distinct sections. The first half of the concert features the songs of Leonard Cohen. There is a challenge to singing other people’s songs and arguably that challenge is increased when the original artist is as iconic and distinctive as Leonard Cohen.
The performance is supplemented with projected images that include lyrics and photographs of Cohen; made even more poignant by his recent passing. Alongside these, interesting anecdotes from Calli give each song context. Stories about the history of the songs added depth as well as more personal stories as well
The second part of the show features the songs of Bob Dylan. These songs have been covered extensively by many artists, in many styles, for many years. Dylan himself is known for constantly rearranging his back catalogue to extract new and interesting approaches to his work.
The choice for the second ‘poet’ of the evening is particularly relevant following the debate around literature and music that was generated by his Nobel Prize in literature award for 2016.
Songs are again accompanied by anecdotes and projections adding to the impact of the performance in a substantial way.
Songs are presented from relatively early in his career and Calli is joined on stage for this show by special guests Kate O’Brien on violin and the legendary Brian ‘Saxophone’ Jones doing what he does best.
There is music, poetry and respect in this celebration of two giants of modern music.
( Adapted extracts from Denis Parkinson’s Review-Liverpool Acoustic)