Men of longing

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They’re men and they love Leonard Cohen.

The Conspiracy of Beards is an a capella group of nearly thirty guys whose one-and-only muse is the famed singer, songwriter, and poet of such hits as “Suzanne,” “So Long, Marianne,” and “Sisters of Mercy.”

You might call Cohen a role model for these men — he not only inspires them musically, but sartorially as well.

“We wear suits and ties because Leonard Cohen is always well-dressed,” said choral director Daryl Henline.

The name of the group brings to mind a bunch of unshaven guys who have no business singing, and at first, Heline says they were just that — but Hallelujah, they got better.

“At our first show, I thought we were better looking than we were good,” said Henline. “We were raggedy. We’ve improved a lot since then.”

Rather than hiding their love for everything Leonard Cohen behind a thick mass of facial hair, the group is constantly pushing its members to sing in smaller ensembles to show off their individual talents — and many of the songs feature solos.

Adding to the variety of talents, the group ranges in age with the youngest member in his 20s, and the oldest is in his mid-60s. In the past, the group has had an 18-year-old and an 80-year-old.

Talk about boys to men.

Conspiracy of Beards at Cloud City (85 N. First St. between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street in Williamsburg, May 25, 8 pm, $5.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at

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