Posts Tagged ‘review’
Thursday, April 5th, 2012
There are good things being said across the pond as well… this is from one of England’s national papers. Check out the different packages that we have available…Also, we are on the road again in a week. Please check out the upcoming tour dates.
The Daily Telegraph – 5 out of 5 stars
Each word and note of this album feels so deeply percolated and thoughtfully placed that it’s hard to believe that this is the fourth record the experienced alt-country band have released in 18 months. Songwriter Michael Timmins explores loss and loneliness with austere clarity warmed by a steady glow of humanity and tinder dry sparks of humour. Margo Timmins’s beautifully bruised vocals float through a dreamy fog of shivering cymbals and muddy guitars. A masterclass in lo-fi longing.
Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Canada steps up again with an excellent national review throughout the Post Media chain. The album is now on sale and there are all sorts of bargains out there, including here on our own website and on Amazon. Also, if you live in the US mid-west make sure that you check out the upcoming Tour dates. we have also just announced a cross-Canada Tour opening for John Mellencamp (we’ll be adding our own shows to that tour in the next few weeks).
The Wilderness – The Nomad Series: Volume 4
Considering the self-imposed time restriction, the Nomad Series – four albums within less than two years – has been distinguished by a startling lack of filler. It has also been distinguished thus far by sturdy conceptual frameworks; going by that criterion, The Wilderness is the weakest of the lot, connected with tenuous threads of loneliness and existential quests (according to songwriter Michael Timmins) that could apply to almost any Junkies disc. But taken as a standalone release, this is one of the discography’s crown jewels, featuring some of the group’s purest expressions of melancholy. Especially in light of the 5-month-old Sing in My Meadow’s cacophonous jamming, The Wilderness feels like a return to the quietude of the band’s early days, although the peppy comic relief of F—, I Hate the Cold makes it very clear that the Junkies aren’t bound by their history.
Monday, March 26th, 2012
A very nice review from our national newspaper of record….
You say wilderness; Cowboy Junkies say life – sorrow, beauty, fragility, bleeding, anger, the search and, at some point, the truth. The Wilderness is the final component of the veteran alt-country band’s ambitious four-album project, The Nomad Series. Nomad, as in moving from style to style, with this fourth disc a return to its classic form: Languid, hazy, thoughtful and acoustic, with the downcast, motherly purr of Margo Timmins working its comfortable effect. “But I live in this world, what do I do,” she asks on the bittersweetly fiddled Staring Man: The answer: “Stand ground and you take what comes, and every night check on your desire to run.” Lovely stoicism, from the Junkies, again. B.W.
Sunday, March 25th, 2012
This is an album for people who still think Trinity Sessions stands as the Cowboy Junkies’ best recording, but also for those who want to hear how that sound has expanded and matured over the years.
Arriving, as it does, as the final chapter in a stirringly ambitious four-part opus called The Nomad Series, The Wilderness had a difficult task in tying everything together, much less matching that seminal 1988 breakthrough. Yet, this new project succeeds with a confident grace — deftly blending both the delicate folk stylings that helped give Trinity such meaning and substance (“Damaged from the Start,” songwriter Michael Timmons’ devastatingly frank “Unanswered Letter”) with the itchier, more rock-inflected attitude (“The Confession of Georgie E,” “Fuck I Hate The Cold”) that propelled last year’s psychedelic-blues adventure Sing My Meadow.
That makes The Wilderness, which completes a sprinting 18-month period of creative outbursts, both a fitting denouement and something of a career valedictory. Moving, as the Cowboy Junkies did, from experimental explorations (on 2010?s Renmin Park) to an ardently focused cover project (2011?s Demons, featuring the music of doomed songwriter Vic Chesnutt) to the scronky toughness of Meadow, this group made a lasting argument for itself as one of their era’s most versatile bands.
In other words, something far more than the sum of their haunting, deeply impactful Trinity Sessions, a melancholic combining of country, folk, blues and echoing rock balladry. The Wilderness, due on March 27, certainly references that quietly assertive, deeply atmospheric tone — but it never capitulates to rote imitation. The Cowboy Junkies have grown too much, accomplished so many things, since then.
That’s perhaps best heard on “Damaged from the Start” — this song cycle’s creative and emotional zenith. As it unfolds, Margo Timmons makes a whispered, twilit entreaty: “Let’s just sit here a little bit longer with these bruised and battered hearts. Let’s just say they were damaged from the start.” But they never, ever stopped beating — testament to this group’s abiding faith, and even more abiding ambitions.
It’s taken some time, maybe longer than the Timmons siblings ever would have guessed, but this forthcoming Latent Recordings project is a masterwork success for the Cowboy Junkies — something that both reminds you of, and then finally supersedes, the shimmering decades-old successes of The Trinity Sessions.
Thursday, November 19th, 2009
Our good friend Lee Harvey Osmond is beginning to make noise and get noticed down in the good-ole USA. Here is a recent review from Blurt. If you haven’t yet checked out the album…why not….??
LeE HARVeY OsMOND
A Quiet Evil
Let’s see here… released on the Cowboy Junkies’ own label; produced and recorded by the CJ’s Michael Timmins; features both Michael and sister Margo, with the other members of the Junkies making guest appearances; includes a cover of an obscure CJ tune, “Angels In the Wilderness”; even mastered by the Junkies’ longtime cohort Peter J. Moore; must be a Cowboy Junkies side project, right?
Not exactly. LeE HARVeY OsMOND is the brainchild of Tom Wilson, from Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, who conceived of the project as a kind of Canadian musical collective – hence the involvement of the Timminses et al, not to mention fellow Rodeo King Colin Linden, members of the Skydiggers and a handful of others. Wilson wrote or co-wrote most of the material and sings and plays guitar, so it’s clearly his baby, although as the notes above suggest, Cowboy Junkies fans and band trainspotters will find much about A Quiet Evil to cheer. In fact, several tunes have a familiar opiated twang and nocturnal ambiance: the spookywoozycool “Blade of Grass,” with its hushed vocal and backwards guitar swirl; the quietly intense, fuzztone-flecked blooze of “Summer Girl”; and of course pedal steel/B3-powered weeper “You Drove Me Crazy (Now I’m Gonna Stay That Way)” – how’s that for a great song title – which features Wilson and Margo Timmins in classic country duet mode.
All that aside, A Quiet Evil ultimately lives up to its titular suggestion; there’s an understated quality here barely masking a lurking sense of desperation and malevolence. From the simmering “Lucifer’s Blues” (check Wilson’s part-spoken, part-sung vocal, which with his deep voice suggests a cross between Chuck Prophet and Dave Alvin) to a searing, edge-of-psychosis cover of Lou Reed’s “I Can’t Stand It,” the record’s steeped in a kind of gothic noir ambiance. This is only made all the more unsettling by the demented cover art, a Satanic-looking dog/rabbit mutant with sharp fangs and jutting phallus. And what’s up with the upper/lower case lettering scheme of the band name? Is there some kind of subliminal messaging going on?
Wilson may or may not have spent time in that part of Canada where the weird sunlight schedule has been known to drive folks a little bit crazy, but on the evidence of this album, he’s definitely a lotta bit twisted, so beware. Twisted in a good way, of course…
Standout Tracks: “Queen Bee,” “Blade of Grass,” “Angel In the Wilderness,” “I Can’t Stand It” FRED MILLS