“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” could be the motto of Cowboy Junkies, who after 35 years, 16 studio albums, and thousands of touring miles, somehow stay true to their vibe without getting snared in the rear-view mirror. That they balance on their tightrope of sound and vision despite the distraction of a minor media frenzy around them (The Los Angeles Times labeled their breakthrough sophomore album, The Trinity Session, among the ten best recordings of the year and singer Margot Timmins appeared in People Magazine’s 50 most beautiful list) proves that when Timmins, her brothers Michael and Peter, and bassist Alan Anton came together, unshakeable alchemy occurred.
As their cover of Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane reached massive audiences from exposure in controversial 1994 box office hit Natural Born Killers, the band never flinched, still drifting up their chosen tributary of the folk stream on their ethereal, earthy, sound where jazz sometimes jumps into a blues-painted country-fired canoe to paddle along. A listen to 2020 album Ghosts reveals that Margot’s voice, forever the centre-piece of the music, remains rich in tone and sentiment, augmenting the ripened song writing of Michael and Anton.
Biography by Mary-Lynn Wardle