Hallelujah- Video Performance Gems of Leonard Cohen’s Song by International Artists
This is my fourth hub showcasing performances of Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah, which has been popularized by its appearance in numerous TV shows. Each hub offers a different video of Leonard Cohen performing his iconic song. In my first hub, Hallelujah- 10 Performance Videos of Leonard Cohen’s Much-Loved Song, I have included the most frequently sung lyrics, attributed to John Cale, from Cohen’s 80 verses of the song. This hub also has a bio of Leonard Cohen, and features performances by Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley, John Cale and kd lang among others.
My second hub, Hallelujah- More Performance Videos of Leonard Cohen’s Much-Loved Song features performances by well known artists like Bono, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow and Bob Dylan, as well as performances by less known singers. My third hub in this series, Hallelujah- Idol and X-Factor Video Performances of Leonard Cohen’s Song, features performances by contestants of these talent shows including Jason Castro and Alexandra Burke. Each performance is respectable in its own right.
This, my fourth hub in the series, has been a surprising treat for me, and hopefully for you as well. I had never heard of any of these artists prior to this project, but found one after another of these performances of Hallelujah an entirely worthy effort. With a bit more exposure, I think I could favor some of these over the renditions of superstar performers.
Performances in this hub:
Pain of Salvation
Holm, Lind, Fuentes and Nilsen
Alter Bridge (Myles Kennedy)
The Rooftop feat, Maya Azucena
Leonard Cohen Performance of Hallelujah in Copenhagen
Leonard Cohen, Canadian
Born: Sept 1934, Montreal
Singer, songwriter, poet, novelist
Pain of Salvation, Swedish
Pain of Salvation is a Swedish progressive metal band formed in 1991. The founder of the band is Daniel Gildenlöw, who is the lead vocalist, guitarist and primary composer of the band’s songs. Of the band’s name, Gildenlöw says in part "I wanted a name that meant something…For me, Pain of Salvation has the meaning of balance. Taking the good with the bad. The idea with the name is that everything has two sides, everything is in balance." Pain of Salvation’s music and style has been described as Progressive Metal.
The band has many distinguishing characteristics. All of their albums are concept albums, with topics such as the environment, nuclear power, sexuality and the impact of war. They are known for their powerful vocal range, guitar work, and unexpected changes between hard and soft passages. I can see all of these factors at play on their version of Hallelujah. I’d say it also has a bit of a slow reggae feel.
Holm, Lind, Fuentes, Nilsen, Norwegian
Lind, Nilsen, Fuentes, Holm is a Norwegian band made up of 4 Norwegian artists well known in their own right: Espen Lind, Kurt Erik Nilsen, Alejandro Javiero Fuentes and Askil Holm. This union was perhaps eased by the fact that they were all under the same management. The artists came together in 2006.
They gained attention performing Cohen’s Hallelujah, first on a Norwegian TV talk show in early 2006. Lind, Nilsen, Fuentes, Holm are often erroneously referred to as Gitarkameratene, The Guitar Buddies. The real buddies are also successful solo artists: Eggum, Sunde, Sivertsen and Nilsen.
American Blues Man Popa Cubby
Popa Chubby, American
Popa Chubby was born Ted Horowitz, son of a candy store owner in the Bronx, New York. As a young boy, he first began learning drums, then guitar. He was influenced by Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendricks. By his early 20s he was playing Blues, and got a leg-up by winning a national Blues talent search and opening for the Long Beach Blues Festival in 1992. Chubby began recording shortly thereafter, on his own label as well as branded US labels.
I really like this version. It’s bluesy in the best possible way. I appreciate Popa’s vocals, and his clean and simple Fender guitar stylings.
Euan Morton, Scottish
Euan Morton released his debut CD in 2006 and has performed concerts around the US. He was born in Scotland and graduated from the Mountview Academy of Theater Arts in London. He has appeared in many theatrical shows in the US and London, including Tommy and Caligula, and has been nominated for numerous awards. He is most famous for his role as Boy George in the musical Taboo, for which he earned a Tony.
Elisa Toffoli, Italian
Elisa Toffoli was born in Italy in 1977. As a small child she first explored dance, but soon found singing to be her great love. She learned guitar to accompany herself. At age 14 she joined a blues rock band and at 16 she joined a swing band. She recorded two songs in California in 1995, and recorded her first full length album in 1997, which went double platinum.
Tina Dico, Danish
Singer-songwriter Tina Dico or Dickow, was born in 1977 in Denmark. She was exposed to a broad spectrum of music from her father’s eclectic collection. Her favorite artists were said to be Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Donovan. She joined a band at age 15, and ultimately attended the Danish Royal College of Music. She self released her first album in 2003, and won a Danish Grammy for songwriting. I did not find a recording of Hallelujah by Tina on Amazon.
Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, American
Alter Bridge, from Orlando Florida, is considered Metal or Alternative music, and is basically Creed with a different singer, Miles Kennedy former frontman for Mayfield Four. The remaining members, Mark Tremonti, guitarist, Scott Phillips, drummer and Brian Marshall, bassist, are from the band Creed, which broke up in 2004. The band’s songs were primarily written by Tremonti or Kennedy. The 3 former Creed band members reunited with Scott Stapp in 2009. I did not find a recording of Hallelujah by Alter Bridge on Amazon.
Kevin Max, American
Kevin Max, formerly Kevin Smith, grew up in Michigan. He began singing at age 4, and thereafter sang publicly at a variety of local churches, schools, and radio shows. He met his Talk DC bandmates, Michael Tait and Toby McKeehan attending Liberty University in Virginia. They formed Talk DC in 1987 integrating pop, rock and rap. They subsequently moved to Nashville and released their first album in 1989.
Keren Ann, Israeli
Keren Ann Zeidel was born in 1974 in Isreal. I therefore classified her as Israeli, but it’s a bit more complicated. Her father is described as Russian-Israeli and her mother as Dutch-Javanese. Keren Ann lived in Israel and Holland until she was 11, when her family moved to Paris. She began learning guitar at 9, and subsequently harmonica and clarinet. Her music has been described as Alternative Folk/Pop/Rock, Indie Pop and French Pop. Her debut album was released in 2000, and well received in Europe. She earned several nominations from the French version of the Grammys.
Maya Azuncena of The Rooftop, American
New York singer-songwriter Maya Azucena is an impressive soul singer who has garnered an international following. She has released only one solo CD, but has countless performances and collaborations under her belt. She joined the all-star band, The Rooftop in 2006. Their music has been described as Soul, Blues, Gospel and Jazz.