CANADIAN DOUBLES – Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, partners in life and music if not in tennis, were lovers for a few weeks back in the 60’s. Suzanne Sheridan, of “90 Pound Suburban Housewife Driving in Her SUV” fame, has been bringing them back together for the past 3 years in a tribute concert she has been performing from Canada to Australia. On Nov. 22 she will perform this concert will be performed here at WHS!
Now in her late 60’s and living in California, Joni Mitchell was born in Fort Macleod in Alberta, Canada. As a child she was afflicted with polio but overcame the debilitating disease to become one of the world’s most revered writers and performers. Having written such masterful originals as “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Both Sides Now,” “Chelsea Morning” and “A Case of You,” Mitchell spent her first serious musical years in New York City hanging out with notable musicians such as Graham Nash, Bob Dylan, David Crosby, James Taylor and Leonard Cohen.
Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Cohen is best known for his hauntingly powerful and emotional songs “Hallelujah,” “Anthem,” “Suzanne,” and the Johnny Cash hit, “Bird on a Wire. It took New York City to bring the two Canadians, Joni and Leonard, together. And even though they were lovers for only a couple of weeks (“That was a long time back then,” comments Sheridan) they were each other’s inspiration for music and for life. “In fact, no brief relationship in Joni’s life produced as many songs, and so many of her better songs, as did her few-weeks-long-romance with Cohen,” remarked Sheila Weller, in her book, “Girls Like Us.”
The Mitchell/Cohen musical adventure began on a Sunday afternoon three years ago in Westport when Sheridan gathered together musician friends Ruth Ahlers, Marshal Rosenberg, and Robin Batteau to experiment with musically uniting Joni and Leonard in a concert setting. The audience response was so positive and supportive that Sheridan took the show on the road. She was invited by The Piggery Theatre in North Hatley, Quebec, to do the Canadian debut of the tribute concert (which Sheridan titled “Both Sides Now”) and in January 2011, Sheridan was brought to Australia to tour with the concert. Again, the response was overwhelmingly positive. When Sheridan met up with Westport keyboard player Bob Cooper, she felt confident that they could do justice to the material and ultimately justify a live recording, which took place at a sold-out Voices Café concert on September 22, 2012.
Sheridan and Cooper have been performing this material to audiences across Connecticut. Other members of the musical entourage are Ruth Ahlers of Norwalk on sax, clarinet, recorder, special percussion and vocals; and Marshal Rosenberg of New York City, a world-renown percussionist who has toured with Tom Rush, Aztec Two Step, as well as Buskin and Batteau.
The concert is on Friday, November 22 from 6 – 8 pm. For reservations, call 203-222-1424 or email email@example.com. Suggested Donation; $10. The live recording CD will be available for purchase for $20 and on line at CD Baby, http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/suzannesheridanmusic.
Bring yourself and your friends, and be prepared for a memorable experience listening to the music of two of the world’s greatest musical poets sung by Suzanne Sheridan and backed by an amazing group of musicians.