Early 21st Century Blues

Early 21st Century Blues

by Cowboy Junkies
     
 

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The Cowboy Junkies have parlayed a minimalist palette into a vibrant, multi-hued, multi-decade career. Early 21st Century Blues offers plenty of the slow, sad ballads that the Junkies began perfecting on early albums such as 1988's classic The Trinity Session, but it also possesses a political edge. This time out, theSee more details below

Overview

The Cowboy Junkies have parlayed a minimalist palette into a vibrant, multi-hued, multi-decade career. Early 21st Century Blues offers plenty of the slow, sad ballads that the Junkies began perfecting on early albums such as 1988's classic The Trinity Session, but it also possesses a political edge. This time out, the Canadian group focus on cover versions of songs of war and corruption and add two apt new songs of their own. The arrangements vary: Bruce Springsteen's "You're Missing" is spare and acoustic, little more than Michael Timmins's guitar, his sister Margo's beautifully sultry vocals, and guest Anne Bourne's cello. Another Springsteen cover, "Brothers Under the Bridge," flows on a sighing pedal steel from Bob Egan and a circular banjo figure courtesy of John Timmins (the elder Timmins brother sits in with the band for this album). Other songs are more electric, such as the gently reverberating versions of Bob Dylan's "License to Kill" and George Harrison's "Isn't It a Pity." And John Lennon's "I Don't Want to Be a Soldier" turns into a seven and a half-minute groove, complete with a rap interlude from Rebel that fits remarkably well. Early 21st Century Blues simmers with tension -- there's a lot of bitter anger in these songs -- but the overall mood is beautifully seductive.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
It's been over 15 years since the Cowboy Junkies dropped their sparse masterpiece The Trinity Session. Recorded with very little gear in the span of one evening, it introduced the group's signature "sepia-drone" delivery to the world, a style that's never really undergone any surgery. Early 21st Century Blues attempts to build a bridge between 1988 and 2005 with a new collection of standards, covers, and originals that employ that same minimalist approach and scant recording time -- five days this time around. Built around the themes of "war, violence, fear, greed, ignorance, and loss," the familial quartet, along with a handful of friends, presents the works of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Richie Havens, and U2 as filtered through the half-time heartbeat that is the Cowboy Junkies' trademark. Anyone even remotely familiar with the group can look at a song like "One," "Isn't It a Pity," or "Two Soldiers" on paper and hear the version come to life in his or her head. All of the intimacy, heavy guitar reverb, smoky vocals, and snares kissed by brushes that fans have come to expect are here, rolling in like a harmless summer rain dressed in the dark clouds of a storm. The only exception, an awkward hip-hop version of Lennon's "I Don't Want to Be a Soldier," featuring a rap by Kevin Bond (aka Rebel), is so out of place that it's almost refreshing, rounding out a collection of reliable late-night jams that will appeal to the choir, but not the whole church.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/16/2005
Label:
Zoe Records
UPC:
0601143107825
catalogNumber:
431078

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cowboy Junkies   Primary Artist
Alan Anton   Bass,Group Member
Jeff Bird   Electric Mando Cello
Anne Bourne   Cello
Jaro Czerwinec   Accordion
John Timmins   Banjo,Guitar
Margo Timmins   Vocals,Group Member
Michael Timmins   Guitar,Group Member
Peter Timmins   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Bob Egan   Pedal Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Richie Havens   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
George Harrison   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Bruce Springsteen   Composer
Adam Clayton   Composer
Larry Mullen   Composer
Michael Timmins   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Jay Dennick   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
Peter J. Moore   Mastering
Xiu B. Doo   Cover Painting

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