Archive for May, 2010

Tour Diary – Bellow Falls, VT (May 9, 2010)

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Bellows Fall, VT

(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)

The ride out of Bethel at midnight tested the caravan with blowing snow, felled trees blocking the road to the hotel, and a menagerie of wildlife whose red eyes were thankfully on the shoulder and not the centerline of the winding roads. With time on our side, the morning eschewed the highways and included more meandering roads that never let the river out of sight as we climbed into Bellows Falls, VT.

A few notes on the village where the stately opera house stood. The local florist was not only open past operating hours (where Bob bought the last 12 yellow roses in southern Vermont); they sold beer and wine in the same cooler as roses. Once seated in the venue, the usher asked a guest, is that your spliff on the ground? When he offered it to her, she insisted on asking around so it could be returned to its rightful owner. In the end, it was finders, keepers. Needless to say, this was a fine town to spend an evening with Cowboy Junkies.

Maybe it was the vibe of the town, maybe it was just the upcoming day off greeting everyone after the encore, but tonight’s show took flight early and didn’t come down until the third song of the encore when the last rush of cymbals walked off into the evening. The debut of “My Fall” and the resurrection of the understated “River Waltz” were just some of the highlights on a night when the band was connecting on every note. It was a good night to be a fan. From what I caught in the glances and smiles on stage, it was an even better night to be on stage.


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Tour Diary – Bethel, NY (May 8, 2010)

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Jason, Bob and Ed at Woodstock

(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)

I awoke to the sound of rain pattering against the roof on the Crazy Ed Compound. Cookie Bob and Ed have taken me under their wings on this run and my rental car has taken on new life. It was a short run into New York and we rolled into Nazarus, feeling about half past dead. Wait, that was the song we were blasting as the car pulled into Bethel, NY the actual home to the Woodstock Festival of 1969!

The group that purchased the property has built a full size amphitheater, a fantastic, interactive museum with rare video footage from the concert, and a smaller room for intimate shows (where the band played tonight). Like most new venues built in the Ticketmaster Era, the facility is clean, well equipped with security gates, and lacking in character. Thankfully, all of this was built atop the hill overlooking the original site and the spiritual epicenter of Woodstock remains untouched.

The three of us walked the property and stood at ground zero of the original stage. Looking up at the hill, the echo of the crowd whispered in the wind and one could not help but feel the power of the entire generation. For someone not yet born in 1969, the entire Woodstock mythology is a pastiche of VH-1 specials and stories from my parents about the music of that period. I thought I understood it, I thought I appreciated it. Lying on the shimmering green grass as clouds passed through my field of vision, everything felt in harmony and I realized that this wasn’t a movie, a slogan, or a brand. This was a moment in time when a generation stood together and used music as a vehicle for change. As I felt the grass tickling my neck and the damp grass seeping through my jeans, I considered what this site represents today. Is it a beautiful reminder of how we can use music to fuel social change or a cenotaph to a time when that seemed possible? I’m not sure my generation has managed to answer that question with our actions.

The room tonight situated the band in front of a dormant fireplace as the glass windows circling the room braced against fierce winds. The sound was clear and the crowd polite. Almost too polite. At times, the music was searching for the extra push from the audience to help it take flight and it wasn’t always there. On tour as a fan, there are those special moments you want to bottle and carry in a back pocket for days when you need to pour some light into your soul. When the band stripped down and delivered “Something More Besides You,” the tiniest reverberation of each guitar string entwined itself with Margo’s breath and danced slowly through the night. Much like my day in Bethel, those three minutes of music will never fade in my memory. Peace. Love. Music.


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Tour Diary – Troy, NY (May 7, 2010)

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Troy, New York

(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)

The tour resumed in Troy, NY, where I have encamped with family throughout the tour. So, it was on familiar ground that I loaded up another rental car and drove back into the adventure. The town of Troy, NY sits upriver from the capital Albany.  Once a wealthy steel town, the city has suffered its hard times but efforts to preserve the architecture and history are visible. Sitting on the back patio of a pub overlooking the Hudson River drinking some handcrafted ale, it’s an easy city to pull for.

Tonight’s venue was a small concert room with a balcony of tables and an open floor. The first 100 or so people through the door made for the upstairs and the floor remained lightly populated until show time. Troy sits in the area of Upstate New York now dubbed the “Geese Belt” and the crowd did it’s best to match Buffalo and Syracuse’s chatter before, after, and during songs. It didn’t matter. The band came to play.

Margo attacked the set from the word go and the music followed boldly. Aaron switched between pedal steel and guitar adding new sounds to familiar tunes. On “Lay It Down,” the band explored the darkest corners of the song while “A Common Disaster” shook the floor with its powerful low end. If tonight is a harbinger of the next week in New England, it promises to be a special run of shows.


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Jason’s Video Diary (April – East Coast)

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Here’s another video from the road from Jason. You can also find a very nice review of our new album Renmin Park on No Depression written by our good friend Paul Cantin. We’ll be back on the road at the end of the week. Make sure you check out the tour page to see if we are coming to a venue near you. Check back often and follow us through the Tour Diary or use one of the RSS feeds to keep up to date, or follow us on Twitter (CJMusic) or subscribe to the Cowboy Junkies page on Facebook.We hope to see you out there.

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