The scene at McCabe's on Friday night seemed more like a midnight Mass
than a pop concert; rows of people - seated and hushed - staring at
a stage in a room illuminated only candlelight. Could it be that the
Cowboy Junkies, the evening's attraction, are getting a bit precious?
If much of their audience treats them as rock's latest Holy Grail,
lead Singer Margo Timmins and the rest of the seven-piece band went
about business as usual. In its hourlong performance, the Canadian
group - whose musical blends melancholy country and soft, soulful rock
- gave the fans new reasons to believe rather than simply replay old
favorites. The best of the half-dozen new songs were captivating as
the tunes from the Junkies best selling RCA LP.
"Escape Is So Simple" offers the accessibility and emotional purity
of "Misguided Angel", though this time the theme is about relationships
moving apart rather than coming together. "Sun Comes Up, It's Tuesday
Morning, " which carries more of a lilt than past Junkies' tunes, overflows
with conflicting images oand moods a la Bob Dylan. "Thirty Summers"
is a compelling look at loyalties and sanity, while "Cause Cheap Is
How I Feel" is as intriguing as its title. Much like Tracy Chapman
last year, the Junkies are one of those pop rarities: an act blessed
with critical and commercial support. From every sign Friday, that
support is extremely well placed.