Last Updated on July 4, 2007
Cowboy Junkies – The Courthouse, Toronto, ON – July 3, 2007
Revelations in the Courthouse
Celebrating their 20th year and the release of The Trinity Session which was recorded live at The Church Of The Holy Trinity in Toronto, the Cowboy Junkies were on their best behaviour on this night as they played at the old York County Court House, which last served the city as a courthouse in 1909.
Now maybe if the venue had been the Van Zandt County Courthouse, there might have been a few more covers on this night. There was no Townes Blues, the song that the Cowboy Junkies wrote for the late great Texan. It was in May of 1990, that Townes Van Zandt joined the Cowboy Junkies on their Caution Horses tour. Van Zandt went on to write a song for them, Cowboy Junkies Lament, which the Cowboy Junkies would later cover (1992’s Black Eyed Man).
Surrounded by fellow Junkies, brothers Michael (guitar) and Peter (drums), Alan Anton (bass) and honourary Junkie, Jeff Bird (harmonica and mandolin), Margo Timmins would begin the session with Follower 2. Comfortably sitting legs crossed on a high chair, a beautiful flower arrangement to her right, one hand over the other and resting on top of the microphone stand, Margo’s rich vocals filled the room, singing pensively “My father’s stories fell upon us…” continuing thru the whole song. Starting over again and repeating the chorus, “And the rain comes down”, her voice getting stronger as Michael, head hung over his guitar, picked up the song’s tempo with Peter’s drums paralleling his brother’s playing.
Jeff Bird’s lamenting harmonica would begin Sun Comes Up, It’s Tuesday Morning, accompanying Margo’s singing. The only instrument missing was a pedal steel guitar which would have had so many reminiscing. Michael Timmins is a terrific songwriter and such an underrated guitarist. Two more songs from the very Alt-Countryish 1990’s The Caution Horses would make the setlist, Neil Young’s Powderfinger and ’Cause Cheap Is How I Feel, both coming during the encore.
With Margo standing behind and leaning forward over the back of her high chair and moving around as My Little Basquiat, a new song from the newly released At the End of Paths Taken, was introduced. Another long instrumental would ensue.
Brand New World, another new song would also be played as Margo would tell the audience “there are tons of strings on the album… it’s a little nerve wracking” and then laughing and saying “You lose the depression.” It was only a couple of weeks back that the Cowboy Junkies had been invited to play with the Boston Pops Orchestra with Margo commenting “it was really mind blowing” and laughing again “they’re not with us tonight as we couldn’t fit them all in the bus.”
“We’re going to do a couple of acoustic songs,” Margo continued as she shared the stage with Michael on guitar and Jeff on harmonica. “Lay It Down is still one of my favourite Cowboy Junkies songs. It was recorded in Athens, Georgia.” Something More Besides You, My Wild Child, Someday Soon and To Love Is To Bury would conclude this five-song acoustic set and the near end of a wonderful and intimate evening.
Sun Comes Up, It’s Tuesday Morning
My Little Basquiat
Bea’s Song (River Song Trilogy Part II)
Carmelita (F. Eaglesmith)
Notes Falling Slow
Brand New World
Lay It Down
Something More Besides You
My Wild Child
To Love Is To Bury
Lost My Driving Wheel (D. Wiffen)
Powderfinger (N. Young)
’Cause Cheap Is How I Feel