Robbie Fulks – Ballad of Leonard Cohen: “Leonard Cohen was the finest poet that ever sang the blues”

Robbie Fulks - Feb 6, 2012 (screen capture)

Lynyrd Cohen –  Leonard Vs Skynyrd

Robbie Fulks, the outstanding Chicago alt-country singer-songwriter1 perhaps best known for “Fuck This Town,” his nuanced musical assessment of the country music industry represented by Nashville, somehow decided to put together  the “Leonard Cohen Vs Lynyrd Skynyrd”2  show, which he performed at The Hideout in Chicago on February 6, 2012. A video of one number, “The Ballad Of Leonard Cohen,” has just appeared in YouTube (2 viewings at time of this posting).

Mr Fulks himself offers this description of the show:

Lynyrd Cohen, a/k/a Leonard vs Skynyrd, as two 1970s icons duke it out via my quintet’s sensitive musical channeling. The kind of clever club programming that bored, frozen Chicagoans thrive on.

Robbie Fulks & his band - Feb 6, 2012 (screen capture)

Now, the content  of any imaginable alt-country music program called “Leonard Cohen Vs Lynyrd Skynyrd” is, by definition, sufficiently outré, arcane, and downright inexplicable to limit its appeal to a tiny elite of fans.

Incredibly enough, it turns out that the group of folks who would be into something labeled “The Lynyrd Cohen Show” have a 0.91 demographic  correlation with Heck Of A Guy readers.3

Consequently, Heck Of A Guy is happy to have booked the off-YouTube internet video premiere of …

Robbie Fulks – Ballad of Leonard Cohen

The video will automatically start at the point the song itself commences. Aficionados of stage banter may wish to adjust their dials back to the beginning of  the video to hear Mr Fulks introduce the show.

  1. According to Peter Applebome of the New York Times, “Mr. Fulks is more than a songwriter. He’s a gifted guitarist who has taught for years at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, he’s a soulful singer with an expressive honky-tonk tenor, and he’s a natural performer. It rings true when he says he’s only truly comfortable when he’s onstage or when he’s totally alone. But what really sets him apart is his songwriting, which is one part artful country, one part artful sendup of country and one part a little of everything else.” []
  2. Sometimes referenced as “Lynyrd Skynyrd vs. Leonard Cohen” []
  3. If Robbie Fulks had gone ménage à trois on us and added Leonard Bernstein to the program, the correlation would have been 0.96. Adding Lenny Kravitz instead of Leonard Bernstein would have pushed it to 0.975, but no one, with the possible exception of his mother, calls Mr Kravitz “Leonard.” []

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