Cowboy Junkies - Sing In My Meadow

For some, the Cowboy Junkies will always be associated with their seminal 1988 album The Trinity Sessions, a stunningly gentle fusion of country, blues, folk and rock. In the years since the band have continued to release albums, maintaining a cult following outside of their Canadian home. To remain intact for twenty five years is commendable, especially when considering how many artists and genres have arrived and departed in this time. Often at this stage in the career a band faces the accusation that their critical and commercial peak lies in the past and they are surfing on the gentle ebbing goodwill of their remaining fans. Is this the case with Sing In My Meadow or have the Cowboy Junkies bucked this trend?

This is the third in a four part “Nomad Series”, to be released over an eighteen month period. This in itself suggests a band of some vigour to contemplate such a compact release schedule. The albums in this series are a mix of new songs and covers, inspired by their travels and through live playing. This effort is a collection of new songs that they describe as “Acid Blues” themed on “sex and violence”, a musical result of “psychedelic interplay that the band creates during our more adventurous meanderings on stage”.

The product of this process is simply fantastic. Forget the history; despite the plaudits garnered in the past, in the context of this album it is simply un-necessary baggage. This is an album that stands alone and any artist of the last twenty five years would ache to have been able to produce it. From the opening track 'Continental Drift' the album errupts in an electric burst of vitality. Dissonant guitars swirl and take shape around Margot Timmins voice which has a richness and a confidence to drive the songs forward. Sometimes we need bands to defy conventions, to warp the templates, to buck the trends - if only so that when we prepare to listen to a new album for the first time we retain the ability to be surprised. With Sing In My Meadow prepare to be astounded. This is the product of band that is on a creative peak and we can only look forward to see where they take us next. A triumph.

Overall

8

out of 10

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