Bruce Cockburn is a legend in Canada. Successful singer-songwriter who started his career back in 1970, his body of work comprises of 25 albums which were consistent in their quality and durability. Cockburn has always been a safe-shot, “stay-at-home defenceman”, reliable musician that never shined too much but never made any bad albums either. He had a few hits back in the eighties, but was always a low-profile folk musician, with strong lyrics.

 

 

A bit like John Mayall, Harry Manx or Boz Scaggs, the body of work and its quality exceeds any specific album or song of his catalogue. He didn’t have huge hits throughout his 40-year-long career like fellow Canucks Barney Bentall, Kim Mitchell or Tom Cochrane but he never disappeared from the map either. Cockburn’s always there, like a great friend you can count on.

His latest album, “Bone on Bone”, which came out on last month is a collection of songs all in the typical folk rock format that we have heard from Bob Dylan in recent years (the excellent Cafe Society). No innovation musically, nor any shocking songs are included here, and it’s OK. Cockburn delivers what we expect from him: quality songs that are well crafted, both musically and lyrically. Cockburn is a great storyteller. We can easily visualize the personas in his songs, like 3 Al Purdys.

 

 

In a recent interview by Andrea Warner of CBCMusic, he reveals that he got writer’s block after finishing his memoirs, “Rumours of Glory” published in 2014. “I didn’t write any songs until after the book was published because all my creative energy had gone into three years of writing it,” Cockburn said in a press release. “There was simply nothing left to write songs with. As soon as the book was put to bed, I started asking myself whether I was ever going to be a songwriter again. Three years later, Bone On Bone is here.”

Cockburn isn’t as unique as Neil Young, Daniel Lanois or Richard Desjardins, but still, he has left his mark in the Canadian music landscape. He was inducted in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from SOCAN in 2012.

cockbrun boneonbone

BRUCE COCKBURN
Bone on Bone
(True North Records, 2017)

-Genre: folk rock
-In the same style as Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Gordon Lightfoot, Richard Séguin

Buy the album on Google Play
Follow the artist via his Facebook page
Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.