Release Date: Aug 16, 2005
Record label: Zoe / Cooking Vinyl
Genre(s): Rock, Adult Alternative
It's been over 15 years since the Cowboy Junkies dropped their sparse masterpiece The Trinity Session. Recorded with very little gear in the span of one evening, it introduced the group's signature "sepia-drone" delivery to the world, a style that's never really undergone any surgery. Early 21st Century Blues attempts to build a bridge between 1988 and 2005 with a new collection of standards, covers, and originals that employ that same minimalist approach and scant recording time -- five days this time around.
From the most laid-back band in Canada comes an unlikely, but sadly timely, concept album, in which the Timmins family turn their hand to songs of "war, violence, fear, greed, ignorance and loss". There is everything here from traditional songs through to lesser-known pieces from the likes of U2, Dylan and Springsteen, and a couple of strong new songs by Michael Timmins. It's an intriguing idea, but much of the album is merely classy and respectful.