Cowboy Junkies: State Trooper (1986)

 |   |  1 min read

Cowboy Junkies: State Trooper (1986)

When the world started becoming very noisy around the time of grunge, the Cowboy Junkies out of Canada had the oldest trick in any public speaker's book. When everyone else is shouting, you speak quietly and people will stop to try and hear what you are saying.

The Cowboy Junkies' Trinity Sessions album -- recorded cheaply in a church -- was a whispery and atmospherically airy collection where Margo Timins' ethereal voice drew you in to their version of Sweet Jane, Blue Moon and a bunch of originals. It was a very cool -- in every sense of the word -- album and got them a lot of attention.

But this wasn't their debut album as many thought.

Two years previous they had released, to very little attention, the album Whites Off Earth Now! which anticipated the intimate sound of The Trinity Sessions but was a much more blues-based affair.

There was only one original on the album (Michael Timmins' Take Me) and the rest were sometimes eerie covers of songs by Lightning Hopkins, Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker and Bukka White.

As much to the fore as Margot's voice was Michael's guitar and it was impressive in a taut, constrained and edgy way. It wouldn't return to the Junkies sound for a couple of year after the mega-success of The Trinty Sessions.

They also included this spooky version of Springsteen's State Trooper (from his Nebraska album) which hits a balance between being faithful to the original, presenting Margot's singular style and letting Michael's guitar add some discomfort to things.

 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Archie Bleyer: Hernando's Hideaway (1954)

Archie Bleyer: Hernando's Hideaway (1954)

The photo of Archie Bleyer here looks more like the portrait of buttoned-down but likeable banker or real estate agent. But he was at one time a middle-sized player in American music. He was a... > Read more

The Dream Academy: Life in a Northern Town (1985)

The Dream Academy: Life in a Northern Town (1985)

Although not quite a one-hit wonder (the follow-up to this, The Love Parade, got to 36 in the US), the Dream Academy probably deserved better just on the strength of this curious and clever debut... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . GARY WILSON: The retro avant-garde artist at play

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . GARY WILSON: The retro avant-garde artist at play

When Beck name-checked Gary Wilson in his '96 song Where It's At, the reference understandably went right past most people: Wilson hadn't recorded an album since '77 and that one, You Think You... > Read more

Mundi: In the Blink of an Eye (Monkey)

Mundi: In the Blink of an Eye (Monkey)

Every now and again New Zealand throws up a group which has a jazz/improv aspect but looks to diverse world music for influences. Elsewhere has posted albums by Superbrew from the Eighties and,... > Read more