Cowboy Junkies – Sellersville Theater 2016
The Cowboy Junkies sounded a bit more psychedelic rock than the last time I photographed them. Now, some of their songs always had a bit of a psychedelic or indie rock sound but what I heard the other night was the addition of Jeff Bird on electric mandolin. I liked it. Supporting their new CD, actually a Box Set, Notes Falling Slow, the Timmins family, Margo, Michael, and Peter, along with Alan Anton and the afore mentioned Jeff Bird brought down the house in Sellersville.
Margo explained to the audience that while they may have seemed to be missing for the last few years they were actually dealing with life. Having babies and things like that. But, while doing so they were writing a lot of songs and Notes Falling Slow was the result.
They started the concert with “Blue Eyed Saviour” from the CD. Heavy electric opening that leads to Margo’s simply magical voice singing the wonderful Michael Timmins lyrics.
Let’s talk about Margo’s voice for a second. Over the many years I have loved they’re music it has always been Margo’s voice that I think of first. When she speaks to the audience her voice is so soft and sweet. When she sings she has one of the strongest voices in the business. Can a voice be both soft and strong? Sure, let’s call it smooth, unique, and wonderful.
Having said that, takes nothing away from the lyrics. For the most part Michael is the lyricist with collaboration at times from Alan Anton. And what beautiful words that are. After all Margo needs beautiful words to sing. The voice and the words not only tell a story but paint a beautiful picture like the Masters. Canadian not Dutch.
They broke the show into parts after the opening section of electric music. Margo singing with just Michael on acoustic guitar, and Jeff Bird on Harmonica was so serene after some really great pieces featuring Michael on electric guitar, Alan with some fantastic bass work, and Jeff on electric mandolin. By the way, Peter on drums was marvelous all night.
Of course there were the inevitable requests shouted from the audience, Neil Young covers, “Sweet Jane” a number of times. Thankfully they played my favorite “Horse in the Country” and yes they closed with an incredibly moving “Sweet Jane”
They’re back. Catch them if you can.
Mark J. Smith
Previously published in Elmore Magazine