Friday, November 7, 2008

Cockburn : Burning Man


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While on the subject of music, my brother gave me a copy of Bruce Cockburn's album "In the Falling Dark" when I was about 17, and I've been listening to it ever since, as well as many other disks Bruce has produced over the years since then. But for me the source of my great love of his music are two phenomenal songs on that 1976 album : "Gavin's Woodpile", and the title track, "In the Falling Dark".
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I had the good fortune to be able to see Bruce play twice in two very small venues in Paris in recent years, in October 1999 at the Hotel du Nord, and in September 2003 at l'Espace Jemmapes, both warm, intimate settings in which to see Bruce let it all hang out... and did he ever, promoting respectively the albums "Breakfast In New Orleans" and "You've Never Seen Everything", both excellent ! I took this photo at the 2003 show where he was glowing hot in that floral motif shirt. I'm not sure how well known it is that Jerry Garcia, when touring with the Jerry Garcia Band, often played a cover of the Bruce Cockburn song; "Waiting For A Miracle", which gives an idea of just how respected Cockburn is as a songwriter, and which was a nice nod to the Grateful Dead tune "I Need A Miracle". So, come on back to Paris, Bruce, we are waiting for a miracle, and you are long overdue ! "Need a Miracle, Every Day"!
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From Gavin's Woodpile, an example of Bruce Cockburn's raw poetic power :
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"Distant mountains, blue and liquid
Luminous like a thickening of sky
Flash in my mind like a stairway to life
A train whistle cuts through the scene like a knife
Three hawks wheel in a dazzling sky
A slow motion jet makes them look like a lie
And I'm left to conclude there's no human answer near..."
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3 comments:

louciao said...

Owen, you're going to start thinking I'm making things up but, honestly, I was introduced to Bruce Cockburn before he was Bruce Cockburn, so to speak. One afternoon I wandered into the 2nd floor communal kitchen of the rooming house I lived in in Toronto to find the house manager, a bass player, having tea with a serious, thin, bespectacled young man. "Miss Sunshine," said the bass player (I don't know whey he called me that, perhaps he was being ironic), "I'd like to introduce you to an extemely talented musician who is going to make it very big one day, Bruce Cockburn. Remember that name." And I did, and I have, and I do. I've seen Bruce in two concerts, one with a band, and the last one in 1992? solo...if you could call it that with all the amazing effects he could produce with various electronic gizmos wired to his guitar, plus a set of what appeared to be wind chimes. An excellent musician. And Canadian to boot!

louciao said...

Test test! 1-2. Check check! Tried leaving a comment but if failed. Test test!

louciao said...

Is this thing on?? OMG this is unbelievably complicated to leave a message on an old post and then leave a clue for the postman to find it. Here is message #3 for the same post...to leave the coordinates so you know what post I was talking about in the first place: Fri.Nov.27,2008 Cockburn:Burning Man. I don't think I'll be able to adopt any more posts for awhile. I'm exhausted from all this exhuming.