Flying completely under my radar last week was a brand spankin’ new release from my other favorite Bruce, Mr. Cockburn. ‘Life Short Call Now‘ is his first studio offering since 2003’s ‘You’ve Never Seen Everything‘. I was introduced to Bruce’s music back in 1994 when I heard “Southland of the Heart” on the radio. Back in 1994 there was one cool station in Phoenix: 101.5 KZON (now one of those “Free FM” stations). “Southland” came from ‘Dart to the Heart‘, an album that zeroes in on matters of the heart, relationships, longing, L-O-V-E baby. From there, I dug into Bruce’s catalog, and was hooked.
‘Life Short’, released July 18 here in the U.S., is Cockburn’s 29th – yes 29th – album. It’s everything you’d expect from a quality Cockburn album: the intelligent and insightful lyrics, calm yet urgent vocals, and an array of eclectic and wholly original melodies. Check out the falsetto on the haunting “Beautiful Creatures”; the unwavering faith of “Mystery”; the pounding rhythm of the instrumental “Jerusalem Poker”.
I’m not sure why Cockburn isn’t as popular down here in the US as in his native Canada, but that’s just fine by me (and Bruce is probably okay with that too). But by all means, if he stops through your town on his current tour supporting this album, go and see a living legend.
Here’s one off the new record with Ani DiFranco lending a hand with background vocals.
Bruce Cockburn (w/ Ani DiFranco): See You Tomorrow (mp3)
And while you’re at it, check out this cool version of Bob Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom”:
Bonus Tune: Bruce w/ Yossou N’Dour: Chimes of Freedom (mp3) – 8/3/1994, Columbia Records Hour