New album Early 21st Century Blues (Cooking Vinyl) - Released in Ireland 29th July, 2005

COWBOY JUNKIES “ONE SOUL NOW” (Cooking Vinyl) out in Ireland 28/5

COWBOY JUNKIES “ONE SOUL NOW” (Cooking Vinyl) released 31st May 2004

 
 
 
 
 

Cowboy Junkies

New album Early 21st Century Blues (Cooking Vinyl)

Released in Ireland 29th July, 2005

>>>See the COWBOY JUNKIES perform on RTE2 "Other Voices" May 22nd 8pm<<<

Friday 29 July sees the release of the Cowboy Junkies album, “Early 21st Century Blues”. Recorded during February and March 2005, the album features two Michael Timmins songs, alongside interpretations of tracks by the likes of U2, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, George Harrison, Richie Havens and John Lennon, plus two traditional numbers.

Explains the band, “By the middle of this past February (2005), we had been off the road for a few months, winter had her claws dug in deep, and it seemed like a good time to get together and play some music. An invitation was extended to our older brother John to come and sit in with his guitar. We decided to give our gathering a context: we were all to bring along two or three songs, written by others, and the themes of the songs had to relate to war, violence, fear, greed, ignorance, loss …We hoped to reach a critical mass of material that would reach out and touch a couple of hearts and souls. Our goal was to create our own small document of hope. Over the course of five days we sat in The Clubhouse and interpreted the words and melodies of others. We let the tape run while we played and did our best to channel those early 21st century blues …”

“Early 21st Century Blues” features the following guest musicians: John Timmins (guitar, banjo), Jeff Bird (electric mando), Jaro Czerwinec (accordion), Rebel (vocal and lyrics on I Don't Want To Be A Soldier), Bob Egan (pedal steel), Anne Bourne (cello).

About the songs :

License To Kill (Bob Dylan): For some reason I've always loved this song. It wasn't until we started to work on it that I realized how beautiful the melody is and how profound, but deceptively simple, is the lyric. Every time we played through a version someone would ask, "what do you think he means by this line….?". And a discussion would ensue. You can't ask anything more of a lyric….and that is why Bob is Bob.

Two Soldiers (traditional): This song was suggested by John. He had heard versions of it by Dylan and by Jerry Garcia and his circle of friends. I happen to have a very traditional version of it by Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard. The song's style fits perfectly with John's guitar playing. Pete and Al settled in to a characteristic Junkies groove and away we rode.

December Skies (Michael Timmins): This is one of the two original songs on the CD. It was written in October 2002 and recorded during the One Soul Now sessions. It was inspired by the news of the day and the Timothy Findley novel The Wars. If you have any doubt that "war-is-hell" then read this book. If you feel that war is a sane option to disagreements between nations then read this book.

This World Dreams Of (Michael Timmins): This is the other original song on the album. This one was also written for One Soul Now. We never got a recording that we liked during the OSN sessions so we pulled the song out for this session, slowed it down, spaced it out and let it breathe. The line, "more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of", is from a Tennyson poem called The Passing of Arthur. I love the line because it is both hopeful and desperate at the same time.

Brothers Under The Bridge (Bruce Springsteen): Margo and I saw Springsteen during the Tom Joad tour. He was playing solo acoustic at Massey Hall in Toronto. It was a stunning performance, a night filled with memorable, inspiring moments. He played this song, which hadn't been released at the time and it has always stuck with me. I love the way that the lyric just ends without warning…much like the way the lives of veterans sometimes "end" without warning….the battle that rages on inside can be so much more difficult to survive. I'm sure we'll be hearing plenty of stories about a whole new generation of brothers-under-bridges in the coming years.

You're Missing (Bruce Springsteen): Is there a more beautiful, delicate, pointed song about loss? Maybe, but I can't think of one ...

Handouts In The Rain (Richie Havens): This song was introduced to me by Patty, my wife. She had heard it on a compilation put together by Paul Weller. She brought it to me and said, "I've found a song for your new record"… within a couple of verses it was pretty obvious that she was right. Our arrangement isn't nearly as complex as the original (too many weird chords, too much work). We paired it down to the essential and let Margo's voice and Richie's words do all the work. It is a beautiful song, written by a truly gifted and, in some ways, under-appreciated artist.

Isn't It A Pity (George Harrison): We started performing this song last year on the Long Journey Home Tour. It was suggested by Margo and it, along with December Skies, was the inspiration for this collection of songs. The lyrics still ring true thirty years after they were written. And, unfortunately, they will, no doubt, ring true thirty years from now and then thirty years after that and so on….human nature is a difficult and unfathomable beast.

No More (traditional): We performed a version of this song at our very first gig back in 1985. We heard a version of an old field recording and decided that we could probably do a knock-up version since we weren't black, had no experience of slavery, had never even touched a farm implant or picked anything that grew from the ground, except for the occasional weed….Whites Off Earth Now!! Indeed. Alan remembered the song and suggested that we bring it back. It seemed to have a new resonance in the context of these other songs.

Don't Want To Be A Soldier (John Lennon): Another song that I've always wanted to cover. The lyrics are about as existential as one can get (not that I'm too sure about the definition of existentialism, but if a lyric can be existential then this one has got to be, doesn't it?). We decided to have some fun with this one. We set up a drum loop and jammed away. After it was all over we realized that there was a definite hip-hop motion to the loop so we invited a friend of ours, Kevin Bond (aka Rebel) to write and record a rap, based on the themes that were driving the songs on the album. We then dumped the whole mess in Jeff Wolpert's lap and asked him to make sense of it.

One (U2): I'm not a huge U2 fan, although I have truck loads of respect for them. My wife suggested this song and it had always been one of my guilty pleasures. Once I started playing it the beauty of the chord changes just took over. It is a pleasure to play. John reminded me that Johnny Cash had covered it on his last record, so we made a point of not listening to his version. Lyrically it is a beautiful punctuation mark (whether it is a period, question mark or exclamation mark is debatable) to the themes that are explored throughout the album… "We are one, but we're not the same. We got to carry each other, carry each other"… yup.

 
 
 
  COWBOY JUNKIES  “ONE SOUL NOW” (Cooking Vinyl) out in Ireland 28/5

Meet 'n Greet the Cowboy Junkies in TOWER RECORDS, Wicklow Street, Dublin 2
The COWBOY JUNKIES will perform a short acoustic set and then sign copies of "One Soul Now" Monday May 31st at 6pm

See the COWBOY JUNKIES LIVE in Vicar Street, Dublin - 1st June
Tickets are €37.50 available through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide.

“Maybe it’s all men and all women we love; maybe that’s the Holy Sperit – the human sperit – the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of."
- John Steinbeck, The Grapes Of Wrath

One Soul Now is the band’s ninth studio release. The first 10,000 copies will be released with a limited edition EP, featuring covers of the following tracks – Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen) / Helpless (Neil Young) / Lungs (Townes Van Zandt) / Darkness (The Youngbloods) / 17 Seconds (The Cure).

The album draws together all the wisdom, passion, skill and insight collected during almost 20 years of playing, writing, touring, recording and living together as a band. Following on the group’s acclaimed 2001 release Open, the 10 songs that make up One Soul Now mark an ambitious departure for the group; it’s the first time Cowboy Junkies have recorded entirely on their own, without the mediation of an outside producer or engineer. One Soul Now was created in the band’s rehearsal space in their hometown Toronto, which doubled as a recording studio for the project.

“This is our first time actually making a record in the studio,” explains guitarist/songwriter/producer Michael Timmins. “Usually, we start in the rehearsal space, figuring out a direction for the songs. This time, we had the luxury of recording everything as we worked through that process of discovery.”

Adds singer Margo Timmins: “With Open, the songs came together while we were on the road. In the studio, I could literally do it with my eyes closed. I knew them so well. For One Soul Now, my eyes were definitely wide open. It means you have to be alive and alert to where the song is going, and I think you can hear that vibe in the album. ”

Since the multi-platinum success of their seminal 1988 release The Trinity Sessions – an album which helped set the stage for the burgeoning Americana roots music movement – Cowboy Junkies have attracted an uncommonly dedicated international following which has remained loyal to the band. Although recent Cowboy Junkies albums have employed a coterie of support players to flesh out their sound, One Soul Now was conceived as a showcase for the core quartet of Michael (guitar), Margo (vocals), Peter Timmins (drums) and Alan Anton (bass). Yet One Soul Now is arguably the most outward-looking album of Cowboy Junkies’ career.

“Lyrically, it would be fair to say Open was a fairly introverted album,” Margo agrees. “I think this time we are confronting a lot of the same issues, but taking it out of the personal realm into something more universal. This time the songs deal with relationships over the long term and how they are affected and confused by inevitable but unforeseen forces which enter our lives -- death, children, divorce, financial worries, age, sickness and just general fatigue.

“What’s true of our personal relationships is also true of our relationship to the world around us: how we see ourselves fitting in to the grand-scheme-of-things becomes more confused and less stable as we grow older.”

Adds Michael: “The idea of One Soul Now is we are all interconnected. That could be a political statement for these times. But more importantly it is a statement of personal politics. I think that we all go through the same bouts of loss and confusion. There should be a way for us all to pool our energies, our souls, and conquer these interminable cycles. I suppose that is why the notion of a God was invented: a focal point for all of our inner energies …”

 
 
 
  COWBOY JUNKIES

“ONE SOUL NOW” (Cooking Vinyl) released 31st May 2004

10,000 copies released with Ltd Edition EP

See the COWBOY JUNKIES LIVE in Vicar Street, Dublin - 1st June

Tickets are €37.50 available through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide.
Booking Line: 0818 719 390


* * * Irish Press Day (Dublin) - 28th April ***


“Maybe it’s all men and all women we love; maybe that’s the Holy Sperit – the human sperit – the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.”

- John Steinbeck, The Grapes Of Wrath

One Soul Now is the band’s ninth studio release. The first 10,000 copies will be released with a limited edition EP, featuring covers of the following tracks – Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen) / Helpless (Neil Young) / Lungs (Townes Van Zandt) / Darkness (The Youngbloods) / 17 Seconds (The Cure)

The album draws together all the wisdom, passion, skill and insight collected during almost 20 years of playing, writing, touring, recording and living together as a band. Following on the group’s acclaimed 2001 release Open, the 10 songs that make up One Soul Now mark an ambitious departure for the group; it’s the first time Cowboy Junkies have recorded entirely on their own, without the mediation of an outside producer or engineer. One Soul Now was created in the band’s rehearsal space in their hometown Toronto, which doubled as a recording studio for the project.

“This is our first time actually making a record in the studio,” explains guitarist/songwriter/producer Michael Timmins. “Usually, we start in the rehearsal space, figuring out a direction for the songs. This time, we had the luxury of recording everything as we worked through that process of discovery.”

Adds singer Margo Timmins: “With Open, the songs came together while we were on the road. In the studio, I could literally do it with my eyes closed. I knew them so well. For One Soul Now, my eyes were definitely wide open. It means you have to be alive and alert to where the song is going, and I think you can hear that vibe in the album. ”

Since the multi-platinum success of their seminal 1988 release The Trinity Sessions – an album which helped set the stage for the burgeoning Americana roots music movement – Cowboy Junkies have attracted an uncommonly dedicated international following which has remained loyal to the band. Although recent Cowboy Junkies albums have employed a coterie of support players to flesh out their sound, One Soul Now was conceived as a showcase for the core quartet of Michael (guitar), Margo (vocals), Peter Timmins (drums) and Alan Anton (bass). Yet One Soul Now is arguably the most outward-looking album of Cowboy Junkies’ career.

“Lyrically, it would be fair to say Open was a fairly introverted album,” Margo agrees. “I think this time we are confronting a lot of the same issues, but taking it out of the personal realm into something more universal. This time the songs deal with relationships over the long term and how they are affected and confused by inevitable but unforeseen forces which enter our lives -- death, children, divorce, financial worries, age, sickness and just general fatigue.

“What’s true of our personal relationships is also true of our relationship to the world around us: how we see ourselves fitting in to the grand-scheme-of-things becomes more confused and less stable as we grow older.”

Adds Michael: “The idea of One Soul Now is we are all interconnected. That could be a political statement for these times. But more importantly it is a statement of personal politics. I think that we all go through the same bouts of loss and confusion. There should be a way for us all to pool our energies, our souls, and conquer these interminable cycles. I suppose that is why the notion of a God was invented: a focal point for all of our inner energies …”

 
 
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