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

John Giorno: Suicide Sutra (1973)

John Giorno: Suicide Sutra (1973)

An important warning before you listen: Do not push play if you are suicidal, off your medication or are having a really hard time of it right now. Especially don't push play if you have access to... > Read more

Johnny Cash: Understand Your Man (1964)

Johnny Cash: Understand Your Man (1964)

The friendship and mutual admiration in the late Sixties between Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan has been well documented: they did some sessions together in '69 (their duet on Girl From the North... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SLY DUNBAR INTERVIEWED (2003): Pull up to the drummer, baby

SLY DUNBAR INTERVIEWED (2003): Pull up to the drummer, baby

Silly question maybe, but you have to start by asking drummer Sly Dunbar -- one half of the legendary Sly'n'Robbie rhythm section alongside bassist Robbie Shakespeare -- what he's been up to... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Matt Langley

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Matt Langley

Matt Langley from Dunedin, New Zealand is one of the smaller but brightest lights on the musical landscape. His debut EP Lost Companions was critically well received but his album Featherbones... > Read more