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Bruce Cockburn - Crowing Ignites

  by Lisa Torem

published: 27 / 11 / 2019

Bruce Cockburn - Crowing Ignites
Label: True North Records
Format: CD


Surprisingly all instrumental latest album from Canadian singer-songwriter and political activist Bruce Cockburn

Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn’s all-instrumental project, ‘Crowing Ignites’ is a sparkling gem with eleven original tracks inspired by magical prompts. His earlier award--winning instrumental album, ‘Speechless’ of 2005 was certainly a proper introduction to his gifts, but ‘Crowing ignites’ is the mother lode. Acoustic splendour rushes to the fore in the opener, ‘Bardo Rush,’ which is softly offset by Bo Carper’s delicate shakers and Janice Powers and her tasteful keys. Cockburn showcases his distinctive flair for melody, pulling out all the right stops. ‘Easter’ sets into motion a striking psalm-like elegance; Cockburn as maestro, performs solo and seriously needs no other. Perhaps, entranced by a sacred spirit — he wrote it on Easter Sunday - this is a rich tapestry bearing soft counter-rhythms and an effervescent overlay. ‘April in Memphis’ suggests that perhaps Cockburn’s sensibilities come to roost on commemoration days. After all, this was written on Martin Luther King Day. It boasts a transcendent, blues-tinged beauty, lightly seasoned with chimes. ‘Blind Willie’, named for Blind Willie Johnson, swaggers with pride. Cockburn swings the melody, but the bass line is never far behind. Honestly, that movement is palpable. Adorned with 12-string kalimba, sansula, charango, dulcimer, “little-ass” bells and producer Colin Linder’s baritone guitar, ‘Seven Daggers’ is the closest some of us will get to visiting a monastery. Allow your mind to drift and do turn off your cell as you enter the world of “singing bowls” and more. With Ron Miles on cornet, Roberto Occhipinti on bass and Gary Craig on drums, ‘The Mt. Leroy Waltz’ sweats out a lively beat. It’s a more contemporary/smooth jazz number than the preceding tunes. From the dissonance of the cornet to the subtle call and response and whispering bass, you’re guaranteed a satisfying ride. The descriptive title, ‘Sweetness and Light’ is sufficiently descriptive of this disarming montage, where rhythms trickle like raindrops.

Track Listing:-
1 Bardo Rush
2 Easter
3 April In Memphis
4 Blind Willie
5 Seven Daggers
6 The Mt. Lefroy Waltz
7 Sweetness And Light
8 Angels In The Half Light
9 The Groan
10 Pibroch The Wind In The Valley
11 Bells Of Gethsemane

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Interview (2011)
Bruce Cockburn - Interview
Lisa Torem speaks to Canadian singer-songwriter and activist Bruce Cockburn about his forty year songwriting career, politics and his just released 31st album, 'Small Source of Comfort'

live reviews

Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, 22/5/2011
Bruce Cockburn - Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, 22/5/2011
In a Sunday evening show at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Lisa Torem watches Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist Bruce Cockburn, aided by violinist and arranger Jenny Scheinman, play a phenonemenal set of his political rock

digital downloads



Bone on Bone (2017)
Lyrical, politically-conscious first album in six years from much acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn
Small Source of Comfort (2011)

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