Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bruce is back. Earlier this month Bruce Cockburn released his 29 album entitled Life Short Call Now, his first new album in three years. I purchased the album while on vacation and have been listening to it off and on for the past couple of weeks. There are a couple of really nice instrumentals on this C.D., particularly Jerusalem Poker and a catchy tune or two. My two favorite songs are To Fit into my Heart and See you Tomorrow. Cockburn also includes a song about Baghdad which was probably inspired by his trip to Baghdad a couple of years ago. This is not Bruce's best album but I would classify it as a worthy effort. Not bad for singer whose hair is now all white and has been playing and making new music since the 1960's.


Cockburn, admittedly is an acquired taste. Most folks either really like him, yours truly, or they are generally indifferent to his music. I own all 29 C.D.'s, so I guess I would qualify as an obsessive, if not lunatic fringe, groupie, fanatic. When asked why Cockburn's music turns me on my simple answer is that it touches my soul on some subjective, somewhat subconscious level. I think part of the reason I like his music so well is that his music touches and explores so many different aspects of life which IMO reflects a mature and thoughtful musician/artist. Over the years and most often on any particular album you will hear Cockburn sing about relationships, his life, politics, religion/spirituality, and his feelings about the world in general. His wide content range also includes his emotions as well. When Cockburn sings those "who have ears to hear" will hear the sounds of sadness, anger, joy, despair, hope, and frustrations. Cockburn appears to be a well rounded individual in an industry and profession where many people often lose both their sanity and souls.

Cockburn may not be the greatest or most talented musician in the industry but he is an artist who IMO has made the most with the talent he has been given....how many artists can say they have produced 29 albums over four decades?.....Make no mistake about it, Cockburn is the real deal.....so, we loyal Cockburn fans from all over North America salute our champion and tip our hats or our glasses to one of the greats of the music world. Thanks Bruce for your music and giving us another slice of your soul. You are a blessing and an inspiration to us all......

5 comments:

julieunplugged said...

I love it when my favorites come out with new material so I can imagine your joy in this new album. Which one do you consider his best, most well-known for a novice? I've been meaning to buy his music for years but can't get past the 28 (now 29) CDs to choose from. :)

Julie

Bilbo said...

Hi Julie,

Good to hear from you. Knowing you, as I think I do, I would suggest The Charity of Night. I suspect you might like a couple of his more "pomo leaning" songs like Strange Waters and Pacing the Cage. Strange Waters is my all time favorite Cockburn song and I suspect you will like it too. If you end up liking this album I would follow it up with his album Breakfast in New Orleans Dinner in Timbuktu which may be his most polished album to date. Sometimes Cockburn can sound a bit rough on the edges but his content, passion, and biographical authenticity more than makes up for his lack of musical expertise. If you do get one of his albums please let you know what you think?...and...good luck with your studies this fall....Bill

Dave said...

Charity of Night... I actually own that CD! The only Cockburn disc in my collection. One of my famous "library clearance table" bargains. It is a good CD, but since I haven't really given his other CDs close, discerning listens, I have no basis of comparison. In any case, I have to defer to Bilbo's expertise on this one. "Pacing the Cage" is a fine song - featuring memorable music and lyrics, it stands out in my recollection...

Mystical Seeker said...

I am sorry to say that I am almsot entirely unfamiliar with his work, except for what is probably his most famous song, "If I Had a Rocket Launcher", which I still consider one of the greatest, most heartfelt protest songs ever written. It really spoke to me at a time when I was feeling outraged over the Reagan administration's policies in Central America, but the song never mentions Central American (or any country) by name, and it is a timeless expression of outrage against and political violence by oppressive and militaristic governments. I just haven't had a chance over the last 20 years to discover any of his other recordings. I am sure I am missing out on a lot.

Bilbo said...

Hi Mystical Seeker,

Over the years Bruce Cockburn has produced a number of "heartfelt protest songs" about everything from the Indian Wars to the recent conflict in Iraq. You have probably never heard of any because Cockburn's music, in general, does not appeal to the mainstream pop culture audience. Here is a list of some of his protest songs and the albums you can find them on......Call it Democracy, album, World of Wonders, The Mines of Mozambique, The Charity of Night, This is Baghdad, Life is Short Call Now, Indian Wars, Nothing But a Burning Light, Where the Death Squad Live, Big Circumstance, Trickle Down and Postcards from Cambodia, You've Never Seen Everything.There are many others but these are my favorites. If you download and listen to them, let me know what you think.....Bilbo