…Songs from the Road seems a bit pale compared to the excellence of Live in London, but both albums are enough to convince anyone that even at the age of 74, Leonard Cohen remains one of the most vital figures in contemporary music, and his gifts as a performer nearly match his abilities as a writer, no small accomplishment.
In 2014, something unusual happened. On the strength of their breakthrough album Too Many Roads, Denmark's Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado went global. Now it's one thing for an artist from Copenhagen to enjoy success at home and in a few adjacent countries. But the release of Too Many Roads saw the seven-piece combo fronted by singer and guitarist Risager gaining widespread notoriety in the U.S. and being invited to play in locales as far away as Mumbai, India. The album took home the Danish Music Award as the Top Blues Album of 2014 and also earned Germany's illustrious "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik," but perhaps even more impressively, it was selected as one the year's best by Britain's influential The Blues magazine, right alongside international stars like Robert Cray, Walter Trout and Joe Bonamassa. Clearly, Risager and his mates had taken their exhilarating mix of blues, soul and rock 'n' roll to the next level. Early in 2015, Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado celebrated that triumph by returning to one of their favorite nightspots - the Harmonie in Bonn, Germany. They would treat local fans to a one-of-a-kind spectacle, hitting the stage as a ten-piece mini-orchestra.
Coco Montoya’s ‘Songs From The Road’ stands or falls by his record company’s claim that it transports you to the front of the crowd at his two appearances at The Triple Door in Seattle.
Given that Leonard Cohen's recent international concert tour was prompted by the fact his former manager purportedly made off with his life's savings, only a curmudgeon would blame the man for trying to make the enterprise as profitable as possible. Roughly 14 months after releasing Live in London, which preserved Cohen's July 2008 performance at London's 02 Arena, the venerable singer and songwriter is presenting to his fans Songs from the Road, featuring 12 tunes (on both CD and DVD) from his 2008 and 2009 concert dates.
…Songs from the Road offers the chance to see one of the most enigmatic and lyrically brilliant artists working in the realm of popular music. Cohen has been such a reclusive figure for so long it's a bit bracing to see him, warts and all, in this amazing amalgamation of performances from venues near and far. Though the image quality here isn't great, the audio quality more than makes up for it, and this Blu-ray is highly recommended.