Cowboy Junkies: Sing In My Meadow


The Cowboy Junkies have been keeping themselves quite busy lately.  Having just cemented their 25th year together, the band members have dove headfirst into a motivated and inspiring period of work.  Fresh off two recent entries to their Nomad Series releases, the enchanting nod to Chinese culture, Renmin Park and the gorgeously moody homage to the late Vic Chestnut, Demons, the band returns with Sing In My Meadow, a loud, jarring, self-described “acid rock” batch of jams that recreates their raucously spontaneous live shows.  And lest you think three albums are not quite ambitious enough, the fourth installment of the Nomad Series will arrive soon along with a complementary book chronicling and commemorating these various proceedings. 

As evidenced by the varied nature of the Nomad Series, the Cowboy Junkies do a lot of genres and styles well.  For those that like the meandering whims and see-where-we-go improvisation of their stage dynamics, this album is made for you.  A dirty blues shuffle wails in the album-opening “Continental Drift” setting the stage for Margo Timmons to enter in with a perfectly executed narrative filled with the edgy attitude the sound demands.  As the title suggests, the ante is upped on the following track, “It’s Heavy Down Here” as the lights dim and the Timmons brothers, Alan Anton, and Jeff Bird create menacing chords of discontent for Margo to agonizingly purge the buried emotion.  And much of the album’s six other tracks follow a similar pattern.  There are problems and mysteries in the world: those between lovers, warring nations, and dreams that keep getting deferred.  The Cowboy Junkies appear not so much to make sense of them, but to instead get you through with some sanity intact.  And what better way to do that then to crank up the volume and let loose with unrestrained fury and passion.  A good catharsis every now and then does one well and after a few albums of quiet introspections, the Cowboy Junkies let off some steam and remind us that after all these years, they still shall not be messed with.  

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