Cowboy Junkies: The Sheldon, St. Louis, MO 3/26/08

Everything Margo Timmins does is with pure elegance.  The way she glides on stage, after the rest of her band has taken their places.  The way she tells stories in between songs.  The way she finds a pair of eyes in the audience and sings to them.  They way she sips her tea and admires her flowers.  The way she smiles while singing words her brother wrote. 

She’s probably my favorite female vocalist, mostly because of the way she cares for each word that comes from her mouth. She pronounces everything as if everyone in her audience were sitting in the back row trying to hear amidst clashing beer bottles.  You get the feeling that everything she is doing is uber-important to her, and it’s refreshing to watch her do her thing.

It’s this reason why Cowboy Junkies are still on the road after 20 plus years. They simply care more than their peers. 
Every show, I’m reminded of this fact.  Take for instance their first encore of the night, a gorgeous rendition of Neil Young’s “Powderfinger.”  Like the version on one of their best albums, The Caution Horses, it was performed in the most delicate manner, with Michael Timmins on guitar, Jeff Bird on Mandolin, and Margo singing Young’s story of a 22-year-old with a rifle who didn’t know what to do. 

“Remember me to my love, I know I’ll miss her,” Margo sang.  It was one of the better live performances I have seen in quite a while, definitely worth the price of admission for those that came out on a rainy night.

The show was played in one of St. Louis’ better acoustical halls, The Sheldon, and it made for quite the odd set list.  The unreleased “Cold Evening Wind” made an appearance, along with the rare gem “Rock and Bird” and the Townes Van Zandt cover, “Flyin’ Shoes.”  All sounded wonderful, and it was apparent that the theme of the night was slow, sad songs, which isn’t that far off of many other Junkies shows.

“A Common Disaster” closed out the show, and although it didn’t really unhinge the roof, it provided a spark for the band from Toronto who left the stage to a few hundred smiles. 

Damn that Margo Timmins, I’ll miss her.

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