I keep playing the Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man DVD lately, and have also finished Sylvie Simmons’s biography of Leonard Cohen, also taking the title of his “I’m Your Man” song.
If you know nothing of Leonard Cohen, you should probably start with his 2008 concert in London and DVDs of earlier performances, such as Bird on a Wire, which is another excellent documentary.
This DVD is as much about discovering Leonard Cohen the songwriter in a new light as it is about discovering some very talented musicians you may never heard of or may know too little of. There’s Rufus and Martha Wainwright (Rufus, a friend since childhood of Lorca's, Leonard Cohen's daughter, had a daughter with her in 2011), Nick Cave, Julie Christensen and Perla Batalla (who accompanied him as backup singers on some tours), the wonderful Anthony, whose performance of “If It Be Your Will” I had discovered accidentally, sisters Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Linda and her son Teddy Thompson (who is quite amazing: I’m showing a video below), Jarvis Cocker, Beth Orton, The Handsome Family, and, well, Bono and U2.
This is definitely a must-see video for Cohen fans, but what’s wonderful about it is that you don’t need to know anything about Leonard Cohen to enjoy these pretty amazing musicians and music which is both Cohen’s and theirs. As Cohen says about the Wainwrights, they “really bring [his] music to life.” The same is true, I feel, of all the musicians in the tribute concert filmed for this DVD.