Early 21st Century Blues

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/2/2005
  • Label: Imports
  • UPC: 711297475227
  • Catalog Number: 753233
  • Sales rank: 137,988

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 Jr. 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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