Amanda Shires pays tribute to fallen singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen in her new barebones cover of “I’m Your Man.” Recorded live in the back halls of Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom, the song finds Shires working alone, reimagining the title track to Cohen’s 1988 album as a gender-bending, ukulele-driven ballad.
“We have taken a thousand road trips together and I have drunk hundreds of bottles of wine with him, ever since I found him in that record store in Lubbock, Texas,” says Shires, a longtime Cohen fan whose forearm sports a tattooed snippet of the lyrics from his most widespread song, “Hallelujah.” On 2013’s Down Fell the Doves, she even dreamt up a European weekend spent in the songwriter’s company, funneling her fandom into the gorgeous “A Song for Leonard Cohen.” Years after that song’s release, her stripped-down version of “I’m Your Man” doubles not only as a salute to one of her biggest influences, but also a battle cry from a female bandleader is an increasingly male-dominated market.
“We only used two mics; one for vocals and one for ukulele,” Shires explains, letting the performance itself do the rest of the talking. Listen below to the world premiere of “I’m Your Man,” which makes it official debut on February 3rd courtesy of Amazon Music Original’s Valentines Day-themed Love Me playlist, along with other eclectic cover choices by Hurray for the Riff Raff, Ingrid Michaelson and more. For the Valentine’s haters, there’s also a Love Me Not playlist handy.