The Cowboy Junkies @ Corona Theatre

Cowboy Junkies Montreal

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Review:  The Cowboy Junkies @ Corona May 26, 2018

Before Spotify and iTunes Music, there was a time when all my friends had CD collections. The average cost of a CD was about $25 with tax and most would have between 15 to 20 CDs.  With such as small collection, there were a few albums that I found in almost all collections:  Mazzy Star, The Proclaimers, Violent Femmes and The Trinity Sessions by The Cowboy Junkies.

When I started DJ’ing, “Sweet Jane” was always on the playlist for weddings…for 25 years!

It’s probably a Canadian thing…or maybe I just had cool friends with great taste in music, but we all loved Cowboy Junkies.

Fast forward 30 years later, the only thing that changed is the color of our hair.

The Cowboy Junkies are just as cool today as they were 30 years ago.  The songs have stood the test of time, compared to their contemporaries.

Cowboy Junkies Montreal
Cowboy Junkies Montreal

The Corona Theatre is one of the only  major venues not to have a name change based on a cellular phone company.  I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually it was called Fidona Theatre… Regardless of the name, tonight it would be a combination of assigned seating on the floor, standing room on the bar/merch level and balcony seating.

The stage was set with large rugs to give it that living room feeling and some fresh flowers for Margo, along with her hot tea.

They started off with “I Don’t Get it” from the breakthrough album recorded in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto.  The bluesy number set the tone for the 2 sets with a 15 minute intermission in between to give us 21 songs.

Margo spoke about loving Montreal, glad to have returned.  She remembers playing Foufounes Electrique, surprised that the venue still exists!

The Cowboy Junkies create beautifully crafted songs, but they are equally talented at giving new life to cover songs.

We would hear “Shining Moon”, a Lightnin’ Hopkins cover.  “Dreaming My Dreams With You” from Waylon Jennings.  “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” as part of the encore, from Neil Young.

Their stand-out cover is of course a slower version of “Sweet Jane”, a Velvet Underground cover that even Lou Reed counts as his favorite version of the song.  We would get to hear this fan favorite towards the end of their second set.

The new album All That Reconing to be released on July 13th, 2018 was available on vinyl and Margo said that during intermission, it would be a good idea to get a drink…and shop, since these two go together so well.

One of the songs on The Nomad Series, Volume 4 is “Fairy Tale”.  Her son Ed got into a little bit of hot water with the principal as Margo will listen to the progress on the tracks while driving her son to school.  Seems the line:  “I’m sick of the blood and I’m sick of the bleeding” was catchy enough that he would sing it full force in school.  Red flag.

The evening ended with one of my favorites:  “Walking After Midnight”

Cowboy Junkies Corona Theatre
Cowboy Junkies Corona Theatre

The atmosphere for the evening was classic and cool.  Margo was on point with her sublime voice. Her brothers Michael Timmins (who writes all the words) was on guitar, brother Peter on drums.  Alan Anton manned the bass and Jeff Bird would vary between his guitar, mandolin and slide guitar.

Margo promised to meet us in the lobby, after the show, a promise she kept.  She signed albums, set lists and even one fan brought in pictures from about 30 years ago, where Margo looked so young! Along with the pictures were old ticket stubs from various performances around the city.

Not wanting the night to end, I took some out of town visitors to Pang Pang Karaoke where I sang horribly and butchered some hits of the 70s.  I have a voice for writing.

Yes, tonight was a blast from the past, a celebration of a catalogue of songs that sound just as amazing today as they did in my youth.

SetList

I Don’t Get It
‘Cause Cheap Is How I Feel
Mountain Stream
Missing Children
Crescent Moon
My Little Basquiat
Shinning Moon
Sing Me a Song
<intermission>
All That Reckoning
Dreaming My Dreams With You
Southern Rain
3rd Crusade
Supernatural (acoustic)
Black Eyed Man (acoustic)
Fairytale (acoustic)
Bea’s Song (River Song Trilogy:  Part II)
Sweet Jane
Good Friday
Misguided Angel
<encore>
Don’t Let It Bring You Down
Walking After Midnight

Review and Photos:  Randal Wark is an entrepreneur and music enthusiast.  He’s Yoda for Bands and host of the soon to be released Podcast Rock Star Today

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