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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cowboy Junkies

Twenty years after their dreamlike, almost languid take on "Sweet Jane" saturated the airwaves, a mention to most of my acquaintances that i was going to see Cowboy Junkies at the Carolina on Friday night brought one of two responses. Who? was the most common. Oh, yeah, are they still around? was a distant second.

Too bad for y'all. The theater was almost full, with just a few scattered empties in the upper balcony. We had seats in the orchestra pit, stage right, very front row. The sound was unbelievably good, and not too loud to require the complimentary ear plugs. Part of that was thanks, i guess, to the plexiglass panels surrounding Pete's drum kit, ensuring that only the miked drum sounds came through. And they were pretty low in the mix.

I don't want to play music critic. If you haven't followed the Junkies career over the past 20 years, you've missed some great albums. The doleful Trinity Sessions, whence Sweet Jane originated, along with equally enthralling covers of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Working on a Building," and "Walking After Midnight," barely scratches the surface of the band's stylings. They did a few albums for RCA, then a few more for Geffen records, and since 2000 or so they've been releasing their stuff on their own Latent Recordings. They don't get much airplay anymore, which is a damn shame, but they seem happy to be making and playing their music, and the relationship between band and fans is unlike that between any other artist and their fans that i know of.

All of this is just an excuse, actually, to publish some photos of Margo. Special thanks to Richard, of the Carolina Theatre for greasing the skids which allowed me to take photographs last night, after i thought i had all my i's dotted and t's crossed, but obviously did not.

And just so he doesn't feel left out, here's one of Michael Timmins, with Jeff Bird, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire (the man does things to a mandolin that should be illegal) in the background.


  • nice piece - but fyi, "sweet jane" was first written by lou reed and performed by the velvet underground, not originated by the cowboy jukies.

    By Anonymous -mj, at 9:10 AM  

  • umm, yeah. i think the phrase "dreamlike, almost languid take on "Sweet Jane" pretty much implies that it's someone else's song, as did the reference to the other, "equally enthralling" covers on the album.

    But as always, if my writing is less than crystal clear, i apologize for any misunderstanding. i can see where saying that "Sweet Jane" originated on The Trinity Session might have caused confusion. especially while the coffee is still brewing.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 9:17 AM  

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