New Music – Cowboy Junkies
Regular visitors to this Blog will know that the Cowboy Junkies are one of my favourite bands, Margo Timmins has a voice that strikes right to the soul and her brother Michael is a unique guitarist who can create wonderfull soundscapes where less is better.
Now free from any formal recording contract they like many bands are now running their own show and are free to record and release material to their own needs.
The first in a series of four album releases, under the guise of The Nomad Series, planned for the next 18 months is “Renmin Park”
The inspiration for this album stems from a three month stay in China that Michael Timmins and his family had, Timmins strategically introduces homemade field recordings to the band’s signature sound, creating an aural landscape which draws inspiration from the recordings of Alan Lomax.
Against this backdrop is set a loose song cycle chronicling the lives of a star-crossed young couple in the Chinese town of Jingjiang as such the album’s ballads are the real stars.
The title track, a universal meditation on discontent, establishes the sustained somberness of the record that is only momentarily overcome by songs like Stranger Here.
A Few Bags Of Grain packs so much pathos that it is easy to miss the scathing critique of China’s gender politics, but Zuzhou’s I Cannot Sit Sadly By Your Side is the number I return to time and again and suggests that Zuzhou may have a couple Leonard Cohen records in his collection.
Renmin Park will be followed by Demons, an entire record devoted to the songs of the band’s late friend, Vic Chesnutt. The final two installments of The Nomad Series are Sing in My Meadow (theme TBC) and The Wilderness, a full album of new Cowboy Junkie originals, many of which are already making their way into the band’s live repertoire.
There are also plans for a lushly illustrated book that will delve into the character, nature, and inspiration behind each of the albums.
Finally, the band’s website (see link below) has been complete redesigned to serve as a portal into the creative process of The Nomad Series, and will feature demos, rough mixes and outtakes from the project as it progresses.
Some videos from the archives:-
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