Artist: Cowboy Junkies
Album: Notes Falling Slow (Box Set)
Label: Latent Recordings
Release Date: 10/30/2015
The box set is made up of four discs that include remastered versions of the three studio albums that were released in the 2000’s: Open, One Soul Now and At The End Of Paths Taken and a fourth disc, called Notes Falling Slow. This fourth disc includes songs written during the making of the three studio albums, but never completed or released. The result, according to Michael Timmins, is “a collection of songs that has a touch of our trademark psychedelia with a large dose of our folk roots shining through.”
The Cowboy Junkies to me has always been all about Margo Timmins’ magical voice, but that voice would be nothing without the incredible lyrics from Michael Timmins. The music has always been fantastic. Michael’s guitar playing is excellent. I lean more to those songs representative of the folk roots than their trademark psychedelia, and could do without the guitar fuzz effect, but I do love the echo effects. Alan Anton on the bass is absolutely superb. Having watched and photographed the band in concert recently, I was mesmerized watching Alan play. Now, listening to the album I can picture him playing, especially when he joins Michael in a duet. Peter Timmins, on drums, the foundation of the band, keeps it all together.
If you are a Cowboy Junkies fan you have probably heard the first three disks on this box set, so let’s get to the new songs, or at least to the newly imagined songs. I love them, myself. Black Eyed Man is probably my favorite album, with “A Horse in the Country” being my favorite song, so I’m delighted to say that Notes Falling Slow is absolutely in that vein. The songs are simply beautiful, mostly expressing their folk roots. Soft, wonderful picturesque lyrics, a little psychedelic guitar melding beautifully with disciplined but powerful support from bass and drums, offering opportunity for Margo’s unique voice.
Last but not least, the mix is fantastic. You can hear each instrument, including vocals, distinctly on every song. Just wonderful.
Whether you are an established Cowboy Junkies fan or new to their music, this box set is worth getting— the fourth disc, Notes Falling Slow make the package absolutely worth it.
—Mark J. Smith