Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Walking After Midnight. Shopping Cart. That was safe. I never wanted to be a musician or be onstage. Michael Timmins said, "I thought if you had this female voice on top of it, you could do anything you wanted.
However, the slow musical tempos and whispery, hushed tones that defined their early work was not just musical inspiration, but came about by necessity. Their recording studio was their repurposed garage, which was just behind the house and bordered closely with their neighbours. On their first jam session, the police showed up due to a noise complaint from the neighbour. One thing fed into the other: Margo began to realize that her singing voice was more effective quiet.
We began to realize, if we can get down underneath Margo, the sound will be more effective. Pete picked up brushes — he was just learning to play drums at that point. Everything sort of came down. We learned to play with less volume.
When the unnamed band was preparing for its first gig, the members considered various names before choosing Cowboy Junkies. The group would perform a rhythmic groove while Margo sang improvised vocal melodies and portions of old blues songs. Many times the Junkies entire performance would be a single jam session. Peter Moore , a recording enthusiast who had ambitions of becoming a producer, was at their very first show.
According to Moore, "I was mesmerized by Margo. The very first show, people weren't paying attention to them, because they were playing so softly and quietly. Margo had her back to the audience a lot of the time. When the Cowboy Junkies were ready to record an album the band sought a like-minded recording engineer. They met Peter Moore at a dinner party, and when they began talking about recording equipment and techniques, they found that Moore's interest in single-microphone recording meshed with their desire to capture the intimate sound of their rehearsal garage.
Moore arranged the group around his Calrec, jury-rigged a control room in the kitchen, and started recording. The Cowboy Junkies shopped their material but were unable to find a label to distribute their work, so they revived the indie label Latent Recordings that Michael Timmins and Anton had used for their Hunger Project and Germinal works, and released Whites Off Earth Now!!
They sold 3, copies. Michael Timmins described the experience: "While touring Whites we had spent a lot of time in the Southern states, especially Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. For some reason the club owners down there took a liking to what we were doing so we spent a lot of time crossing the kudzu choked highways that ran through the heart of the old Confederacy.
Those were the days when having to spend a night in a hotel room would mean the difference between eating the next day or paying for the gas to get us to the next town, so we spent a lot of our time sleeping on the floors of friendly promoters, fans, waitresses and bartenders. The band's next project, The Trinity Session , became their breakthrough. Peter Moore again produced the album.
They approached the project as a reaction against the MIDI—dominated musical styles of the '80s. No humanity, no nothing. I'm listening to these recordings from the '50s with two or three mics and I'm going, 'Man that's real music. To better persuade the officials of the historic church, Moore claimed "The Timmins Family Singers" were recording a Christmas special.
Songs with the fewest instruments were recorded first, and then the songs with gradually more complex arrangements. In this way Moore was able to solve acoustic problems one by one. To better balance Margo's vocals against the electric guitars and drums, she was recorded through a PA system left behind by a previous group. By making subtle changes in volume and placement relative to the microphone over six hours, Moore and the band finally reached the distinctive sound of the album.
Music critic for Rolling Stone magazine, Anthony DeCurtis , summed up the result of the group's efforts in a four-star review of the album: "The Trinity Session is in the great tradition of albums that establish a mood and sustain it so consistently that the entire record seems like one continuously unfolding song. The mood in this instance is hypnotic and introspective — an intense, melancholic longing that blends the elemental emotions of country music and the blues with the poetic world-weariness of the Velvet Underground.
After a few years in a post-punk outfit named Hunger Project, guitarist Michael Timmins and bassist Alan Anton returned to Toronto, after stints in New York City and London, disillusioned with the echoes of the music scenes they missed by only a year or two in each city. Playing with the urgency of a light snowfall, the band focused on creating an atmosphere where every note had room to breathe. Composed mostly of blues covers with a brilliant Bruce Springsteen cover thrown in , their debut album Whites Off Earth Now!
It was on the empty, late night highways that tie the country together that the band began to listen to country artists such as Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams. Today, it remains much more than a snapshot of a single day's work captured on tape. So for this deluxe Analogue Productions reissue, we pulled out all the stops.
Starting with new mastering from the original session digital tapes by the original recording engineer, Peter Moore. And lacquer cutting by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound. The church where the album was recorded was selected on the basis of work Moore had done there with other jazz and classical artists. Using a single Calrec Ambisonic microphone, the results are stunning.
Next, we kicked up the packaging and content several notches. You're holding a heavyweight old-style tip-on Stoughton Printing jacket, and it has brand-new liner notes by author and music editor Jason Schneider. He's also the roots music editor at Exclaim! The liner notes share space with additional recording session photos , inside and on the back cover.
Lastly, this sonic treasure has been pressed on g vinyl at Quality Record Pressings , maker of the world's finest LPs, with stampers plated by master plating technician Gary Salstrom. Retrieved May 12, February 22, The Guardian.
Honest Tune. Hybrid Magazine. Retrieved May 3,Cowboy Junkies celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Trinity Session Thanks to all those who pulled together to make this happen, especially; Mark Spector, Pierre and François Lamoureux, Blair Woods, and all of the film and sound crew who worked so hard on this project.