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Cowboy Junkies performing in Elgin, Illinois
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Americana, alternative country, country rock, folk rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock, indie rock|
|Labels||RCA, Geffen, Latent, Zoë|
|Associated acts||Jeff Bird|
Cowboy Junkies are a Canadian alternative country/blues/folk rock band. The group was formed in Toronto in 1985 by Margo Timmins (vocalist), Michael Timmins (songwriter, guitarist), Peter Timmins (drummer) and Alan Anton (bassist).
The Junkies first performed publicly at the Beverley Tavern and other clubs in Toronto's Queen Street West, including The Rivoli. Their 1986 debut album, produced by Canadian producer Peter Moore, was the blues-inspired Whites Off Earth Now!!, recorded using an ambisonic microphone in the family garage.
The group's fame spread with their second album, The Trinity Session, recorded in 1987 at Toronto's Church of the Holy Trinity. Their sound, again using the ambisonic microphone, and their mix of blues, country, folk, rock and jazz earned them both critical attention and a cult following. The Los Angeles Times named the recording as one of the ten best albums of 1988.
The band was nominated for Group of the Year at the Juno Awards. The group has continued to tour North America, Europe, Japan and Australia with extensive North American and European tours following album releases in 2002 and 2004. In 2008, they released Trinity Revisited in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the original recording of The Trinity Session.
The band was formed by three siblings from the Timmins entertainment family. Another sibling, Cali, rose to fame as an actress on Ryan's Hope. The Timmins siblings are descendants of Noah Timmins, a mining prospector who founded the Ontario city of Timmins.
Following the dissolution of Michael Timmins and Alan Anton's earlier band Hunger Project, Cowboy Junkies formed in Toronto in 1985. The band's name was chosen randomly as they approached their first gig.
The Trinity Session was recorded live on a single Calrec Soundfield microphone at the Church of the Holy Trinity in downtown Toronto by producer Peter J. Moore. This album also included a cover of The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" based on the 1969 Live album version rather than the studio version from Loaded. The single featured in the films Natural Born Killers, The Good Girl and Flight.
None of the band's subsequent albums have been hits outside of Canada, although the band has maintained a dedicated following and have continued to have chart hits in their native country. Following their 1998 album Miles from Our Home, Cowboy Junkies agreed to leave Geffen Records. They have continued to release albums on their own independent label, Latent Recordings, with distribution through other labels such as Rounder in the USA and Cooking Vinyl in the UK.
In 2007 they released Trinity Revisited, a re–recording of the album featuring guest artists Ryan Adams, Vic Chesnutt, Natalie Merchant and Jeff Bird. Both the album and the film Trinity Revisited were filmed and produced by Pierre and François Lamoureux. On November 9, 2007, CBC Television aired Trinity Revisited: featuring Cowboy Junkies, which was filmed as the band recorded the new album.
On January 1, 2017, Cowboy Junkies were part of CBC's The Strombo Show's Hip 30. Canadian bands covered songs from Tragically Hip to commemorate the Hip's 30th anniversary.
Alan Anton at a 2008 concert in Guelph, Ontario
Officially, there are four band members, all siblings except Anton, who was a member of Michael Timmins's two previous bands.
- Margo Timmins (vocals, b June 27, 1961, Montreal)
- Michael Timmins (guitar and chief songwriter, b April 21, 1959, Montreal)
- Peter Timmins (drums, b October 29, 1965, Montreal)
- Alan Anton (bass, b June 22, 1959, Montreal)
Since their second album the band has performed and recorded with multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird, whose current role includes acoustic and electric mandolins, harmonica, percussion, and samples.
|1986||Whites Off Earth Now!!|
|1988||The Trinity Session||28||30||26||2× Platinum||Platinum|
|1990||The Caution Horses||11||33||47||Platinum|
|1992||Black Eyed Man||8||21||76||Gold|
|1993||Pale Sun, Crescent Moon||25||114||Gold|
|1996||Lay It Down||20||55||Gold|
|1998||Miles from Our Home||98|
|2004||One Soul Now||127|
|2005||Early 21st Century Blues|
|2007||At the End of Paths Taken|
|2010||Nomad Series, Vol.1 Renmin Park||169|
|2011||Nomad Series, Vol.2 Demons|
|2011||Nomad Series, Vol.3 Sing in My Meadow|
|2012||Nomad Series, Vol.4 The Wilderness|
|1995||200 More Miles: Live Performances 1985–1994|
|2000||Waltz Across America|
|2003||In the Time Before Llamas|
|2006||Long Journey Home (CD/DVD)|
|2009||Acoustic Junk (limited edition)|
|1996||Studio: Selected Studio Recordings 1986–1995|
|1999||Rarities, B-Sides and Slow, Sad Waltzes|
|2001||Best of the Cowboy Junkies|
|2002||The Radio One Sessions|
|Open Road (CD/DVD)|
|2003||Platinum & Gold Collection|
|2012||The Nomad Series (Box set)|
|2015||Notes Falling Slow (Box set)|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|CAN||CAN AC||CAN Country||UK
|US Modern Rock||US Radio|
|1989||"Sweet Jane"||75||—||—||—||5||—||The Trinity Session|
|"Blue Moon Revisited"||—||—||—||87||—||—|
|1990||"Sun Comes Up, It's Tuesday Morning"||22||5||78||90||11||—||The Caution Horses|
|"'Cause Cheap Is How I Feel"||68||15||30||93||—||—|
|"Rock and Bird"||34||11||—||—||—||—|
|1992||"Southern Rain"||20||6||—||—||—||—||Black Eyed Man|
|"A Horse in the Country"||52||23||—||—||—||—|
|"Murder, Tonight, in the Trailer Park"||—||—||—||—||25||—|
|"If You Were the Woman and I Was the Man"||—||31||—||—||—||—|
|1993||"Hard to Explain"||22||19||—||—||—||—||Pale Sun, Crescent Moon|
|"Sweet Jane" (re-release)||—||—||—||—||9||52||Natural Born Killers|
|1996||"A Common Disaster"A||11||12||—||—||20||75||Lay It Down|
|1998||"Miles from Our Home"||64||28||—||—||—||—||Miles from Our Home|
|2001||"I'm So Open"||—||—||—||—||—||—||Open|
|2004||"Stars of Our Stars"||—||—||—||—||—||—||One Soul Now|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- A"A Common Disaster" also peaked at No. 11 on the Canadian Rock Singles chart.
- It Came from Canada, Vol. 4, 1988 ("Blue Moon Revisited (Song for Elvis)")
- Pump Up the Volume, 1990 ("Me and the Devil Blues")
- The Cities' Sampler Vol. 2: Collectibles, 1990 ("Decoration Day")
- Deadicated 1991 ("To Lay Me Down")
- Born to Choose, 1993 ("Lost My Driving Wheel")
- Upfront! Canadians Live from Mountain Stage, 1994 ("Misguided Angel")
- Natural Born Killers, 1994 ("Sweet Jane")
- Borrowed Tunes: A Tribute to Neil Young, 1994 ("Tired Eyes")
- Oh What a Feeling: A Vital Collection of Canadian Music, 1996 ("Misguided Angel")
- The Truth About Cats & Dogs, 1996 ("Angel Mine")
- Cities' Sampler Vol. 10, 1998 ("Miles from Our Home")
- WXRV Presents: Live from the River Music Hall Vol. 1, 1998 ("Come Calling")
- Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, 1999 ("Ooh Las Vegas")
- Poet: A Tribute to Townes Van Zandt, 2001 ("Highway Kind")
- 107.1 KGSR Radio Austin - Broadcasts Vol.10, 2002 ("Something More Besides You")
- WYEP Live and Direct: Volume 4 - On Air Performances, 2002 ("Thousand Year Prayer")
- Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot, 2003 ("The Way I Feel")
- This Bird Has Flown – A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul, 2005 ("Run for Your Life")
- Northern Songs: Canada's Best and Brightest, 2008 ("Sweet Jane")
- The Rounder Records Story, 2010 ("Small Swift Birds")
- Flight, 2012 ("Sweet Jane")
- The Kennedy Suite, 2013 ("Disintegrating")
- God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson, 2016 ("Jesus is Coming Soon")
- XX: Lyrics and Photographs of the Cowboy Junkies, with watercolors by Enrique Martinez Celaya. 2007. Santa Monica: Whale and Star.
- The Nomad Series: Lyrics and Photographs of the Cowboy Junkies. 2012. Miami: Whale and Star.
- "Cowboy Junkies". Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
- "Official website". Cowboy Junkies. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
- "The Strombo Show presents Hip 30". CBC Music. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-84195-017-4.
- "Cowboy Junkies". Chart Stats. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- "Various - The Kennedy Suite". Discogs. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
- Schneider, Jason (November 8, 2013). "Cowboy Junkies / Various - The Kennedy Suite". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
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