Adam Cohen’s show at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh – the first night of his European tour – was opened by local lad Dean Owens, supported on guitar and vocals by Calais Brown. Owens, former frontman of alt-country band The Felsons, showcased some songs from his forthcoming Nashville-recorded album Into The Sea along with others from his extensive back catalogue. Owen’s songs are thoughtful and crafted: “Some of my songs are quite melancholy” he informed us, “The others are just miserable”. Perhaps the most melancholic and certainty the most affecting is Man From Leith, a tribute to his father.

Dean Owens’ father worked in a shipyard but Owens chose to be a singer/songwriter. Adam Cohen is a singer/songwriter too – just like his dad. You might think that if your father was one of the greatest songwriters of our times, you might want to steer well clear of following in his footsteps and maybe go work in a shipyard instead. Fortunately, rather than growing up in his father’s shadow, Adam hadamcohenas evidently flourished.

Cohen has grown comfortable with being his father’s son but as he tells us tonight, it’s not all he likes to talk about. Leonard can never be too far away though. He’s there in Adam’s looks, his voice, and in the hats that the girls in the band wear with wry, knowing humour during Fall Apart.

Fall Apart is a song about inevitability and acceptance; the inevitability that Leonard won’t be around for ever and the acceptance that Adam is carrying on the family business – it’s in his bones and his blood: “You’ll be hearing his voice, as you’re hearing it now”. In the end though, as one audience member succinctly puts it: “Adam, you’re a star. We don’t care who your parents are”.

This being the first night of the tour, Cohen tells us that he is going to take it slow and use tonight as a warm up.  There is no actual evidence of this happening. The multi-talented band: Justine Bennett-guitar, bass, vocals and keyboards; Stephanie Collerette-violin and vocals; Genevieve Clermont-cello,vocals and keyboards; and Michael Chaves-drums,percussion, guitar, keyboards and Johnny Cash impression are perfectly drilled and make the sound of a band twice their size.

Over the course of the evening Cohen & Co. treat us to ten tracks from the new album We Go Home and a handful of earlier songs. Standouts include a dramatic Swear I Was There, a dynamic Love Is and a triumphant Uniform. Whether he wants to or not, Adam Cohen will spend the rest of his life talking about his father. On tonight’s evidence however, his songs are more than capable of speaking for themselves.

Adam Cohen is touring Europe right now. If he is playing a town near you, go and see him. You won’t regret it.

We Go Home by Adam Cohen is out now on Cooking Vinyl.

Into The Sea by Dean Owens will be released in April on Drumfire Records.

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