Over the past few weeks I’ve been relistening to all of the Cowboy Junkies’ albums in order.
Best known for their second album, The Trinity Session, they have continued to release high quality albums for more than 35 years. They now have around 20 studio albums. This year’s release continues that run of consistency.
I’ve seen them live a number of times and they are a great live band. The first time I saw them the audience sat on the floor, lighting was low with candles on stage, and it was all very quiet. The next time was so loud - full light show and lots of extended guitar jams with feedback. They have released around half a dozen live albums, as well as various compilations.
There is nothing especially ground breaking in their sound and that would maybe be the biggest criticism. On their albums you get a mixture of quiet, folk-blues-country, with strong lyrics, mixed with more psych guitar workouts. Margo’s vocals have got stronger over the years yet remain restrained. There are moments that are a bit more experimental - Renmin Park maybe. But they usually return to their template.
Based on my listening over the past few weeks I would make my top 5:
- The Trinity Session
- Pale Sun Crescent Moon
- Lay It Down
- The Wilderness
- All That Reckoning
You don’t rate The Caution Horses?
Trinity Session is obviously sublime, but other than that I only ever listened to Caution Horses and Lay It Down. The sort of band that I’m listening to largely as a tokenistic dip into a genre that I’m otherwise indifferent to, so I only need one of their albums, and it doesn’t matter which one.
Caution Horses is 6th on my list but does contain some of their best moments outside of Trinity Session.
Black Eyed Man is far and away my favourite album and A Horse In The Country my favourite track.
I can’t believe it doesn’t even make your top 6.
Don’t know them at all really. Just put on The Trinity Session although not sure if it’s really my sort of thing.
A guy I’m friends with on FB is a big fan but was hugely scathing of their live show at the RFH, saying they seemed really unengaged.
Only know Caution Horses cos i was given it. Can’t really remember it. I like the name tho
It is at number 9 but not much to choose between number 5 to 11.
Oregon Hill, A Horse in the Country, and Murder Tonight would all be among my favourite tracks.
I can see that, especially in a larger venue.
Nearly went to see them in Coventry last year but dithered because I’m not a massive fan of their newer albums. I’m suffering from massive regret after seeing the setlist of classic tunes.
I have only ever listened to the Trinity Sessions and loved it, saw them in 2007, and i think they were touring that, and it was a brilliant gig. Never bothered to explore more widely than TTS though…