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Bruce Cockburn
Announces Acoustic January UK / IRISH tour
Digital download Different When It Comes To You available 29th January

New album
"Life Short Call Now"

out now on Cooking Vinyl
::: :::

Acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn has announced that he will be doing a solo acoustic tour of the UK & Ireland in January. To coincide with these dates, a download only track, “Different When It Comes To You”, taken from Cockburn’s recently released album Life Short Call Now, will be released on Monday 29th January. Full dates as follows :

Friday 19 Jan - GLASGOW, ABC Theatre*
Sunday 21 Jan - BELFAST, The Empire
Monday 22 Jan - DUBLIN, Whelans
Wednesday 24 Jan - MILTON KEYNES, The Stables
Thursday 25 Jan - LONDON, The Borderline
Sunday 28 Jan - SHEFFIELD, Memorial Hall
Monday 29 Jan - MANCHESTER, The Academy
* as part of Celtic Connections Festival

Life Short Call Now is Cockburn’s 29th studio recording, and the follow up to 2005’s Speechless – his first-ever instrumental record. Recorded at Puck’s Farm outside of Toronto, the album includes 12 Cockburn originals and features guest appearances from Ani Difranco, Ron Sexsmith, Hawksley Workman and Damhnait Doyle. It was produced by Johnathan Goldsmith who also produced Cockburn’s Stealing Fire in 1984, and several of the songs were written during and after Cockburn’s 2004 fact-finding mission to Baghdad. A number of tracks also feature Cockburn with a twenty-three piece orchestra which is a first for him.

Throughout his 35 year career, Cockburn has been honoured with multiple awards including the inaugural Humanitarian Award at the 2006 JUNO’s, The Tenco Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy, and 20 Gold and Platinum awards. He is also an Officer of the Order of Canada and inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, as well as the recipient of honourary degrees in Letters and Music from several North American universities, including Boston’s Berklee and Toronto’s York University. Cockburn’s songs have been covered by such diverse artists as the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Barenaked Ladies, Jimmy Buffet, Maria Muldaur, k.d. Lang, Third World, Judy Collins and others.


Bruce Cockburn
First Album Released 1970
Goin' Down The Road (Soundtrack) B.M.I. Award 1971
Canadian Folksinger Of The Year JUNO Award 1971
Canadian Folksinger Of The Year JUNO Award 1972
Canadian Folksinger Of The Year JUNO Award 1973
Best Album Graphics (Night Vision) JUNO Award 1975
Best Album Graphics (Joy Will Find A Way) JUNO Award 1976
Night Vision Certified Gold 1979
Top Single Recording Of The Year RPM Award 1979
Dancing In The Dragons Jaws Certified Gold 1979
Folk Artist Of The Year JUNO Award 1980
Best Male Vocalist CFNY U-Know Award 1980
Humans Certified Gold 1980
Male Vocalist Of The Year JUNO Award 1981
Folk Artist Of The Year JUNO Award 1981
Wondering Where The Lions Are P.R.O. Award 1981
Wondering Where The Lions Are B.M.I. Award 1981

Best Album Of The Year (Inner City Front)

CFNY U-Know Award 1981
The Coldest Night Of The Year P.R.O. Award 1982
Rumours Of Glory P.R.O. Award 1982
Inner City Front Edison Award (Dutch) 1982
Best Male Vocalist JUNO Award 1982

Best Folk Artist

JUNO Award 1982
Dancing In The Dragons Jaws Certified Platinum 1983
The Order Of Canada   1983
Tour to Central America   1983
Rumours Of Glory Concert film released 1983

Tour of Australia and New Zealand

Concert performances in Santiago, Chile   1983
Rumours Of Glory/Bruce Cockburn Live Home video released 1984
Stealing Fire Certified Gold 1984
Stealing Fire enters Billboard chart for 31 consecutive weeks   1984

Top Male Vocalist

CASBY Award 1985
Joy Will Find A Way Certified Gold 1985
In The Falling Dark Certified Gold 1985
“Lovers In A Dangerous Time” P.R.O. Award 1985
"Making Contact" P.R.O. Award 1985

Stealing Fire

Certified Platinum 1986
World Of Wonders Certified Gold 1986
Top Male Vocalist CASBY Award 1986
“Call It Democracy” Video Of The Year CASBY Award 1986
The William Moon Award P.R.O. Award 1986

High Winds White Sky

Certified Gold 1986
European Tour   1986
World Of Wonders Top 30 in Germany 1986
Tour to Nepal for the U.S.C.   1987
Waiting For A Miracle (Singles 1970 - 1987) Certified Gold 1988

U.S. Solo Tour

Sunwheel Dance Certified Gold 1988
Cdn. Organization of Campus Activities C.O.C.A. Hall Of Fame Award 1988
Berklee School of Music Songwriter's Award 1988
Tour of Mozambique for COCAMO   1988

"Wondering Where The Lions Are"

P.R.O. Crystal Award 1988
Q-107 Toronto Music Awards 2 Awards 1988
Waiting For A Miracle P.R.O. Award 1988
Big Circumstance Certified Gold 1989
Honourary Doctorate/York University Doctorate Of Letters   1989

"If A Tree Falls"

Australian top 30 hit 1989
Q-107 Toronto Music Awards Folk Award 1989
"If A Tree Falls" SOCAN Award 1990
Nothing But A Burning Light World Tour begins 1991
First annual Christmas With Cockburn Radio Broadcast   1991

Nothing But A Burning Light

Album Of The Year 1991
Columbia releases 12 catalogue records   1991
Nothing But A Burning Light Certified Gold 1992
Toronto Arts Awards Musician's Award 1992
Second annual Christmas With Cockburn Radio Broadcast   1992

Performance at Presidential Inaugural Ball

Waiting For A Miracle Certified Platinum 1993
Trouble With Normal Certified Gold 1993
"Lovers In A Dangerous Time" SOCAN Award 1993
"Great Big Love" SOCAN Award 1993


Released 1993
3rd annual Christmas With Cockburn Radio Broadcast   1993
Dart To The Heart Released 1994
Distinguished Alumni Award Berklee College of Music Boston   1994
Inner City Front Certified Gold 1994

"Listen For The Laugh"

NO. 1 AAA Radio U.S.A 1994
Dart To The Heart (German) Press & Critics Award 1994
Global Visions Festival Artist Award 1995
"Wondering Where The Lions Are" SOCAN Classics Award 1995
Bruce Cockburn Certified Gold 1995

"Lovers In A Dangerous Times"

SOCAN Classics Award 1995
Second Tour of Mozambique for COCAMO   1995
Cross-Canada speaking tour on Landmines   1995
Christmas Certified Gold 1997
The Charity Of Night Released 1997

Helen Verger Award

Ottawa Folk Festival 1997
Honorary Doctorate of Music Berklee College of Music Boston   1997
The Charity Of Night Certified Gold 1997
You Pay Your Money & You Take Your Chance - Live Released 1998
River Of Sand Documentary (Mali West Africa)   1998

Tour of Australia - Spring

Govenor General's Performing Arts Award   1998
Honorary Degree (Doctor Of Letters) St. Thomas University (Nova Scotia) 1999
Fact-Finding trip/Cambodia & Vietnam   1999
Breakfast In New Orleans Dinner In Timbuktu released   1999

1999 TENCO Award

(Italy) Lifetime Achievement 1999
Best Roots & Traditional Album-Solo (Breakfast) JUNO Award 1999
Native Heart Native American Music Awards   2000
“The Coldest Night of the Year” SOCAN Classics 2000
Billboard International Achievement Award   2000

Canadian Music Hall Of Fame Award

Inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame   2002
Promotion within the Order of Canada   2003
“You’ve Never Seen Everything” Released 2003
Fact finding trip to Baghdad   2004
Two Cockburn songs are released on Jimmy Buffets “License   2004
to Chill”, which debuts at #1 in the US    

Performs at Live 8 in Barrie, Canada.

Records ‘Speechless: The Instrumental Bruce Cockburn’   2005
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“It’s not unusual for me to have roaming be a noticeable feature of an album,” says Bruce Cockburn. But LIFE SHORT CALL NOW found the singer and guitarist traveling, as he puts it, “a bit further afield” than usual.

How far? “Baghdad, for instance,” he says. “I went to Baghdad in 2004 and spent a week there, which produced the song This is Baghdad. I wanted to see what was going on for myself, because I didn’t believe what I was reading.”

Then there’s Missouri, featured prominently in the title song. “The first verse of that song is entirely Missouri, driving through there from St. Louis to the other side of the state,” he says. “It kind of came in between relationships, and expresses the loneliness of the road that a lot of travelers feel, whether they’re musical travelers or other kinds.”

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s an instrumental called Jerusalem Poker, whose provenance derives from a happier occasion - a holiday trip to the holy city with his girlfriend. And then there’s To Fit In My Heart, a song Cockburn describes as being about “the spiritual wandering that goes on in all my albums. There’s an ongoing quest to sort of figure out the cosmos, and that song is certainly part of that quest. It’s a reflection of things felt.”

It’s also a reflection of the restless energy and enduring curiosity that has marked Cockburn’s career as a musician and songwriter. The 29th album in a career that’s midway through its fourth decade, LIFE SHORT CALL NOW is wide-ranging, playful and adventurous, eager to take chances and happy to push limits. The songs run the gamut from the politically charged patter of Slow Down Fast to the classic folksong cadences of Mystery, and from the vocal intricacies of Ani DiFranco’s harmonies on See You Tomorrow to the deadpan modernism of the jazzy instrumental Nude Descending a Staircase.

As might be expected from the author of If I Had a Rocket Launcher, some of the songs are pointedly topical, but never in the obvious way. This Is Baghdad is more portrait than polemic, focusing on the sights and sounds and people of the city. “You don’t get to know a place in a week, but you get a taste,” he says. “And it’s a real taste, as opposed to what you get from TV or the paper.

“That’s the value of making a piece of art about something. The job is not necessarily to be factual - although the art is generally stronger when it is factual, or fact-based—but you can convey the emotional content of a situation in a way that mainstream news reporting tries not to do. By its nature, the news tries to be objective; I don’t have that burden. My job is the opposite: This is what it feels like for a guy from Canada to be sitting in Baghdad, talking to Iraqis.”

Then there’s Tell the Universe, which - although very much a Bush song—an appeal to conscience, not a blanket condemnation.

“Rather than say, ‘You bastard, look what you’re doing,’ it seemed more to the point to say, ‘Look, God is watching you, the Cosmos is watching you,’” Cockburn explains. “The closest it gets to castigation is the bridge, where it says, ‘You’ve been projecting your shit at the world/Self-hatred tarted up as payback time.’ It may be too simple to say that’s the psychology of Rumsfeld and that crowd, but it’s what it looks like.

“It seemed to me worth putting things in those terms, rather than being another voice going, ‘I hate you.’ I don’t think I want to write an ‘I hate you’ song.”

Then again, neither does he have much interest in writing an “I love you” song - at least not the usual sort, anyway. Instead, Cockburn would rather write something like Different When It Comes to You, which he calls “a slightly twisted take on the standard love song idea.”

LIFE SHORT CALL NOW finds Cockburn performing mostly on acoustic guitar. “These songs evolved at least partly during a period of a lot of solo shows, or duo shows that I did with Julie Wolf, just keyboard and guitar,” he says. “Generally, a song gets recorded on whatever guitar I wrote it on, and these took shape more on the acoustic side of things - the 12-string, the six-string, the dobro. We were loaned a baritone guitar, made by a guy here named Tony Karol, and that’s the guitar that you hear in Peace March. I ended up buying it, because once you’ve recorded on the damned thing, you have to go and play it for people that way.”

Baritone guitar wasn’t the only new addition to Cockburn’s sonic palette on the album. There’s a string section on several tracks, something that came about in part because that’s how Cockburn heard This Is Baghdad in his head, and in part, he says, because “I’d never done it before.”

Jazz trumpeter Kevin Turcotte appears on several songs, and is part of the horn section that helps bring Mystery to its conclusion. To enhance the intended Salvation Army Band effect, the horn players brought in antique instruments, one of which dated back to the 1850s. Unfortunately, Turcotte’s horn was so ancient that its springs no longer pushed the valves back into place after the keys had been pressed. “We actually had to gaffer tape his fingers to the valve, so he could pull them up after he played each note,” says Cockburn. “It was funny as hell to watch.”

Cockburn also enlisted the help of some of Canada’s best young singer/songwriters to provide vocal harmonies for the album, a group that includes Ron Sexsmith, Hawksley Workman and Damhnait Doyle. “I was going to keep it all Canadian, and then through some fortuitous broken telephone calls, Ani DiFranco kind of volunteered her services, and I was very quick to say yes,” says Cockburn. “The nice thing about getting people who are singers and writers in their own right is you don’t get a studio sound - you get character.”

Cockburn also took some chances with his own singing, particularly in Beautiful Creatures, which soars up into falsetto because, says Cockburn,“it seemed like the melody wanted to go there.

“There was a time I would’ve been afraid of being laughed at for doing something like that,” he adds then chuckles. “But at this age, I don’t give a shit.”

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