Cowboy Junkies

Cowboy Junkies

Cowboy Junkies

Sing In My Meadow

Latent Recordings

The Cowboy Junkies fell off my radar screen a few years ago, but they’ve been busy: their latest project is called The Nomad Series. Sing In My Meadow is the third disc in this project, and it offers up a driving sound of electric blues, rough-edged psychedelia, and rock and roll angst filtered through the lens of the Canadian alternative rock scene.

Vocals are a filigree on the back beat of angry guitars moaning artfully discrete solos, and flustery drumming piles up to make a wall of sound with the unfocused energy of an Occupy Wall Street demonstration. “Continental Drift” puts singer Margo Timmins on the front lines of the demonstration, but there’s little more than a key shift when we leave for the after party. Join the march with “It’s Heavy Down Here,” as it drops us from a street protest to that dark cave of the best B-Side drug music that mellowed an older generation bent on changing the world. I’m struck by its early FM sound; this song stands alone more than anything else on Sing in My Meadow. The lyrics are more condensed, more introspective, and less angry at powers that can’t be controlled. True, the trite rhyme “…touch my soul / listen to late night radio…” lurks, but there’s enough reverb and distortion to take us back to the days when Clear Channel meant hot swamp music from WWL and not homogenized inflammatory politic rhetoric.

If all you know about this band is that ancient cover of “Sweet Jane,” tune in again — this Canadian family project has moved on, grown up, and found new lands to till.

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