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Madeleine Peyroux & Paula Cole

WHEN:
WHERE:
COST:
Saturday, March 9, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
Center Theatre
$55 | $65 | $75

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Madeleine Peyroux & Paula Cole

A special double-bill concert featuring two of the music industry’s most sophisticated female artists known for their seamless ability to sing in both the standard jazz and mainstream pop genres. Don’t miss the return of Madeleine Peyroux to the North Shore Center along with Grammy-winner Paula Cole.


About Madeleine Peyroux

Madeleine Peyroux’s extraordinary journey is one of music industry’s most compelling. Eight albums and twenty-two years since her debut Dreamland, Peyroux continues to challenge the confines of jazz, venturing into the fertile fields of contemporary music with unfading curiosity.

Peyroux’s new album, Anthem, finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with writers/musicians Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Lana Del Rey, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Brian MacLeod (Sara Bareilles, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner, Ziggy Marley) and David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, David and David, Sheryl Crow), who are also the basic rhythm section players on the album. Together, they cast a sober, poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world.

Produced and co-written by Larry Klein, the album came to life during the pivotal 2016 US elections, with the writers absorbing a “constant stream of news” over many months. The “consciously not too preachy” songs fuse Peyroux’s at times political outlook, with glimpses into her personal world. Honed and patiently refined with fellow writers, they mix the public with the personal, striking that perfect equilibrium of dark humor and compassion.

Anthem is an album born out of the team being “together in one room, musing over world events and letting personal experiences spark ideas”. David Baerwald’s sadness over the passing of poet John Ashbery ignited thoughts of much-admired figures lost over the years and paved the path for “All My Heroes.” Baerwald’s loss gave rise to feelings of awe at these figures’ trailblazing ability to guide and “light fires in the shadows,” but also brought to light their very human vulnerability.

Inspiration for the evocative “Lullaby,” written by Baerwald, Klein, MacLeod, Peyroux and Warren, came from “the image of a solitary woman in the midst of a vast open sea singing to her child, or possibly herself, as she faces the chasm of the world.” With engaging empathy, the song paints a haunting picture of the displaced person’s desperation, as she is tormented by memories of “a time before the war,” in a boat paddling towards the unknown.

Anthem weaves the colorful stories of people confronting life’s challenges in a multitude of ways. With pathos and a hint of irony it laments over financial tribulations in “Down On Me,” speaks of disappointment and unfulfilled dreams in the bluesy “Ghosts of Tomorrow” and delivers a scathingly poignant social commentary in “The Brand New Deal.” Coming ten years after Bare Bones, the singer-songwriter’s previous album of original songs, Anthem finds Peyroux wiser with finer articulation powers. Inspired by her idol Leonard Cohen’s ability to “suffer for the work, but still present the listener with just a friendly thought,” Peyroux sends a spiritual but clear message of hope, optimism and resilience in the face of a turbulent reality.

There are two covers in this album. Paul Eluard’s WW2 poem Liberté, and the title track, Leonard Cohen’s monumental Anthem, which also marks Peyroux’s third interpretation of the iconic poet’s work.

Soon becoming Peyroux’s “personal anthem,” Cohen’s soulful masterpiece “tied together all the stories on the record,” with uncanny relevance and topical worldly observation.

It was Cohen’s astonishing ability to tap into the human psyche and “make you think about things without forcing you into it,” that was the underlying thread throughout the project, leading to a more fluid style of writing, “that is about saying something rather than saying everything.”

Anthem’s lighter tunes include On My Own, On A Sunday Afternoon, and the 1970s-sounding Party Time, which “has some darkness to it.”

A key track on the album is Paul Eluard’s poem Liberté which came to Peyroux’s attention when a family friend requested she contribute a song to the documentary On the Tips of One’s Toes (Sur La Pointe des Pieds), telling the story of her gravely ill son and the family dealing with his fatal illness (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy). A well-known poem in France and recently set to music by French rocker Marc Lavoine, “Liberté was already in the air following the Paris terror attack”. It came up for Peyroux and Klein as they were trying to put music to a sequence in the documentary showing the young boy going on daily outings and activities. It evoked questions about the parents’ ordeal of “living with the knowledge that their son will not live a full life,” and triggered thoughts of “life’s greatest questions about mortality, overcoming adversity and man’s place in the grand scheme of things.”

The 21-verse poem was edited down to fit the album’s format and its stanzas adapted, before Peyroux and Klein wrote their original composition. Delivered in French and encompassing the entire human experience, Liberté begins with the lines “On my school notebooks, On my school desk and the trees,” to convey the essence of childhood and growing up. It goes on to touch on adulthood, romantic loneliness, and the many facets of human life, before finally speaking of illness, death and recovery. “With every verse Eluard mentions different places, imaginary and real where he would write ‘the name’ but the name itself remains a mystery until the all revealing last line, “I was born to know you, to name you, Liberty.” Under Klein’s sensitive production, the arresting poem assumes an enchanting folksy simplicity, with only Klein’s acoustic guitar and Warren’s atmospheric synth strings to accompany Peyroux’s mesmerizing voice.

Anthem is Peyroux’s “biggest project to date,” with the artist investing many months of hands-on involvement in the studio, “exploring processed sounds and editing in post tracking. Special in that it was written with the group of musicians/writers who also played on it, “this album was about discovering the original songs as they were being recorded” and mastering the courage to “let the songs choose their own path.” The new album includes several songs bearing Peyroux’s distinctive, instantly recognizable style including On My Own and On A Sunday Afternoon, but Anthem’s spirit was that of exploring new styles whilst resting safe in the knowledge that “if you are loyal to yourself, there should always be a thread running through your music.”


About Paula Cole
“It is truly my time now, at 50.” – Paula Cole.

More beautiful than ever, in a career spanning over twenty years, Paula Cole releases Ballads, a twenty-song collection of American jazz and folk classics from the 1930s to the 1960s. It is dedicated to her father, Jim Cole.

Cole started as a jazz singer and now returns, at fifty years of age, to pay homage to her first love of jazz and folk. A self-described “mother and human being first” Cole is a timeless voice not only in song, but for those who have felt pain, and who still stand shining light, against all odds. With a voice that is big, rich and gorgeous, a mind that is intelligent, and a heart that transforms suffering into beauty, Paula Cole sings for our enlightenment, for our souls.

Ballads is a journey to Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan, to John Coltrane and Nina Simone, to Bobbie Gentry and Nancy Wilson, sung by a stunning Paula Cole we’ve not yet heard. Start pouring the fine wine. Some things get better with age.

Paula Cole is the voice behind Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Live, hits “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?,” “I Don’t Want To Wait,” and the brave, brazen double platinum album, This Fire. Cole has infused wit and poetry in seven albums of original work. In performance, Cole gives of herself to such a degree that she elicits tears and gasps and goosebumps from audiences. In her lyrics, she writes of inner life, of redemption, a woman’s perspective; of social justice.

As the first woman in history to solely produce and receive the Best Producer Grammy nomination for her work, This Fire, Cole broke boundaries with a searcher’s spirit. Recently Paula celebrated the 20th anniversary of This Fire, and will be performing This Fire in its entirety at select concerts. She has released a new video of “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?,” and a 20th anniversary-memento-live album entitled This Bright Red Feeling.

From small town Rockport, Massachusetts, Paula was raised in a musical family learning standards that would eventually become Ballads. She attended Berklee College of Music as a jazz singer, graduated in 1990, fervently writing and recording her original work. In 1993, Peter Gabriel heard her then-unreleased debut album Harbinger and invited Cole to join his Secret World Live tour. While touring internationally with Gabriel, Cole’s Harbinger debuted in 1994 to critical acclaim. She toured non-stop and released her second album, 1997’s This Fire for which she won the Grammy for Best New Artist along with seven nominations. Cole led the pack at Lilith Fair’s opening years, and in 1999, followed her muse to release Amen, a genre-crossing, social-spiritual album to diverse audiences.

After a seven-year hiatus to raise her daughter Sky, who battled childhood asthma, Cole returned to her “second, more authentic career” releasing five more albums, Courage (2007), Ithaca (2010), Raven (2013), 7 (2015), and This Bright Red Feeling (2016), touring consistently over the last decade.

Cole walks her path with her fans, writing out her life, sharing her connection at concerts and over social media. Cole’s compositions have been covered by a diverse range of artists (jazz legend Herbie Hancock, Annie Lennox, Katherine McPhee, JoJo, hip-hop duo THEY), she has sold approximately three million albums, performed with icons such as Peter Gabriel, Dolly Parton, Herbie Hancock, Emmylou Harris, Amy Lee of Evanescence, Burt Bacharach, Counting Crows, Matchbox 20, and currently has over four hundred thousand monthly listeners on Spotify. With a loyal fan base who appreciate the depth of her catalog, the loving artist-fan relationship, and the wisdom earned through pain, tears and joy, Cole is proud to go independently on her own label, 675 Records. Cole is now Professor at her alma mater Berklee College of Music, between tours and albums.

She continues to write, produce, record and perform heartfelt, meaningful, lasting music that defies categorization.

“An extraordinary songwriter with a gorgeous voice”
Rolling Stone

“A Fantastic Artist”
—Herbie Hancock

“Paula is an original voice both in what she is saying and how she is saying it”
—Peter Gabriel