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Sometimes revolutions begin quietly.
In 1988, Cowboy Junkies proved that there was an audience waiting for something quiet, beautiful and reflective. The Trinity Session was like a whisper that cut through the noise -- and it was compelling. It stood out in the midst of the flash and bombast that came to define the late 80's. The now classic recording combined folk, blues and rock in a way that had never been heard before and went on to sell more than a million copies.
With Cowboy Junkies’ new album, All That Reckoning, the band once again gently shakes the listener to wake up. Whether commenting on the fragile state of the world or on personal relationships, this new collection of songs encourages the listener to take notice. It also may be the most powerful album Cowboy Junkies have yet recorded.
“It’s a deeper and a more complete record than we’ve ever done before,” says Michael. “We’ve always tried to make records that are relevant to who we are as people. … These songs are about reckoning on a personal level and reckoning on a political level.”
“There’s a line in “When We Arrive”, he continues, ““Welcome...to the Age of Dissolution” which has been in my notebook for years. Every time I sit down to write an album I have stared at it and wondered why I wrote it and what it means. Finally, the times have caught up with the line and the Age of Dissolution is upon us. A time where so many personal, social and institutional constructs are crumbling and being devoured by forces that we have wittingly and unwittingly unleashed upon the land.
Anyone who has been following Cowboy Junkies’ three decade-long journey knows the band has always traveled on its own path. From the auspicious debut of Whites Off Earth Now and the subsequent international breakthrough with The Trinity Session, to the group’s Nomad Series of themed albums (2010-2012), Cowboy Junkies have never let music business trends dictate where the band was headed.
Formed in Toronto in 1985 with siblings Michael Timmins on guitar, Margo Timmins on vocals, Peter Timmins on drums, and Michael’s lifelong friend Alan Anton on bass, the band has sparkled over the course of 25 albums. “I’ve known Alan longer than I’ve known Pete,” says Michael. “We were friends before Pete was born.”
Unlike most long-lasting groups, Cowboy Junkies have never had a break up or taken a sanity-saving hiatus. There’s an appreciation of each other that keeps them constantly working. “It’s that intimacy and understanding of what each one of us brings to the table,” says Michael. “Even if the world doesn’t know it, we do.”
Here are some great videos featuring Cowboy Junkies with some of the musicians also taking the stage on October 17:
Cowboy Junkies "Misguided Angel (Live from Massey Hall)"
Cowboy Junkies with Tom Wilson of Lee Harvey Osmond - "Coney Island Baby"
Cowboy Junkies with Andy Maize of Skydiggers - "Five Years"
Chemistry, passion, energy and evolution are a few words that come to mind when Any Maize and Josh Finlayson talk about twenty-five years together in Skydiggers. They attribute their ongoing growth and successes to chemistry, within the band the experiences of sharing the stage with so many other great Canadian musicians.
The Hamilton, Ontario man known as Tom Wilson has forged an alter- ego from a pop-culture mash-up of JFK's killer and the famed family of singing Mormons. That's in addition to his identification since the '90s as a member of now-defunct Canadian rock band Junkhouse, and the very-much-alive Americana entity of Blackie & the Rodeo Kings.
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