Cowboy Junkies & Related Musicians

A complete list of everyone who has played on a Cowboy Junkies recording, and most of the people who has played live with them.

Who are the Cowboy Junkies?

Formed in Toronto in the summer of 1985, the Cowboy Junkies are (and always have been) these 4 plus 1 very special friend:

Michael Timmins - Songwriter and Guitar

You have to start here. Michael writes all of the words and plays guitar. He doesn't want the spotlight and as a result doesn't get all the credit he deserves for his brilliant songs.

(These photos from the back of the original
Latent version of The Trinity Session)

Margo Timmins - Vocals

Luckily the band found the voice for Michael's words. Although she doesn't seek out the spotlight either, Margo is the singer and therefore gathers much of the attention. A more beautiful voice I've never heard.

Pete Timmins - Drums

A big part of the magic of the band's music comes from the relationships. Margo's little brother has been keeping the beat for the band since the beginning.

Alan Anton - Bass

A friend of Michael's since nursery school, you have to look carefully to find Alan on stage, he's standing at the back trying not to draw attention to himself. Have a closer look, though, and you'll see (and hear) his contribution to the band.

Jeff Bird - Fiddle, mandolin, electric mandolin, harmonica, organ, 8 string bass, percussion and other instruments.
Jeff has been a key member of the bands recordings and live shows since The Trinity Session. His ability to pick up the right instrument and add the right flavour to any song or show should not be overlooked. Everyone who plays with the Junkies contributes, but no one more that Jeff.

Jeff is from Guelph, Ontario and formed Tamarack before playing with the Cowboy Junkies. Jeff has also released a number of solo albums which are available at the Cowboy Junkies store and has performed on a number of other releases over the years. Jeff is the 5th Junkie.

Everyone else in alphabetical order:

Ryan Adams

In November 2006 Ryan played with the Junkies at a taping of 'The Trinity Session' for DVD. More information to follow when it is released, expected for the 20th anniversary of the original recording.

Dave Allen - Fiddle on Black Eyed Man

Having played for years with The Mahones and Pat Temple he met his wife in the UK and moved over. He still plays, currently with an up and coming potential future star known as 'Wee Alex', a combination described by one reviewer in these words - "...alone these guys will stand out from any crowd - together they'll create one!"

Richard Bell (1946-2007) - Piano, organ - Pale Sun, Crescent Moon

Richard is a legendary performer who has played with everyone from Ronnie Hawkins, The Band, Colin Linden and a million people in between. His contribution to the history of rock and roll was cemented early with his performance on Janis Joplin's Pearl.

Karin Bergquist - Vocals

Karin and Linford Detweiler make up the band Over the Rhine. They have toured with the Cowboy Junkies on many occasions. Karin provided backup vocals on Open and vocals and acoustic guitar on Waltz Across America.

Kevin Bond aka Rebel - Vocal and Lyrics on 21st Century Blues' I Don't Want To Be a Soldier


Anne Bourne - Cello on Early 21st Century Blues


Andy Carlson - String arrangements, violin - Lay It Down


Vic Chesnutt

In November 2006 Vic played with the Junkies at a taping of 'The Trinity Session' for DVD. More information to follow when it is released, expected for the 20th anniversary of the original recording.


Greg Clarke - Ambient guitars on verses of Darkling Days

Greg is a member of The Corndogs, a band who's first record was released on Latent records and was produced by Peter Moore and Michael Timmins.


Randall Coryell - Drums

Long time player around the Guelph area, Randall stepped in during the 2006 tour when Peter Timmins was unable to play due to a bad back. Randall has played with Jeff Bird, Gwen Swick and many others including touring with Glass Tiger.

Colin Couch - Tuba on Oregon Hill

Colin was a member of the band The Polka Dogs from 1989 to 1993 and has played with a number of bands including The Rheostatics and Allison Cameron.


Jaro Czerwinec- Accordion

Jaro first played on The Trinity Session and was a key contributor to The Caution Horses. Listen especially to the cover version of Neil Young's Powderfinger. Jaro is from Sudbury, Ontario and played with the polka band Black Sea Cossacks and with Daisy Debolt.

Kim Deschamps - Pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar, dobro, bottleneck slide guitar
He played on The Trinity Session and The Caution Horses.

Kim spent time as a key member of Blue Rodeo and released a very good blues based solo CD.

Linford Detweiler - Organ, piano and wurlitzer.

Along with Karin Bergquist make up the band Over the Rhine. They have toured with the band many times and played on Open and Waltz Across America.

Bob Doidge - Acoustic guitar, cello - Black Eyed Man

Bob is the owner of Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton where Black Eyed Man was recorded. He is also a producer, engineer and a musician.


Bob Egan - Pedal Steel - Early 21st Century Blues

A terrific players who's been around for years with bands like Wilco, Blue Rodeo, guesting on other's records and recording a few of his own.

Spencer Evans - Piano, Clarinet - Black Eyed Man

Spencer has also appeared on Sarah Harmer's 2000 release You Were Here and has played live with the Junkies.


Thea Gilmore - Backing Vocals - In concert October 9 & 10 in England


Jack Henderson - Guitar - In concert only


David Henry - Cello - Lay It Down

David also toured with the band following Lay It Down. He has played with many bands including Over The Rhine, is an accomplished Engineer (working with John Keane in Athens) and started the band Brother Henry.


Bruce Hornsby - Piano

Famous for his hit singles The Way It Is and Mandolin Rain, Bruce played on a version of Rock and Bird that was only released as a promotional single.

David Houghton - Percussion

David's main contribution to the band has been art direction. David has been responsible for the layout of the CD's since The Caution Horses. In addition he has contributed percussion at a few shows and on several tracks. Recently he's completed some incredible bike rides.

Garth Hudson - The legendary Garth Hudson from The Band played Accordion at one Junkies shows in June 2007.


Vince Jones - Organ, piano, harmonium on Miles From Our Home. Vince also toured with the band and played keyboards. Vince was a member of the Canadian band Grapes of Wrath.


John Keane - Pedal steel guitar, arpeggiated guitar - Lay It Down. John also produced Lay It Down along with Michael Timmins.

John has produced and engineered a number of albums, including work by R.E.M. and 10,000 Maniacs. John Keane Studios are located in Athens, GA and John has written a book called "A Musician's Guide to Pro Tools 6".


Simon Kendall - Keyboards

Simon toured with the Junkies in 2001. He has played with many bands over the years including Doug and the Slugs, has solo CD's available and Simon is currently touring with Colin James.


Craig Leon - String arrangements on Miles From Our Home

Craig has worked with a wide assortment of artists over the years including Blondie, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Guy Clark.

Lewis Melville - Banjo on The Last Spike, Pedal Steel on Miles From Our Home. Lewis is a co-founder of DROG records of Guelph and has released his own records and appeared on countless recordings by local musicians.


Natalie Merchant

Natalie played with the Junkies at a taping of 'The Trinity Session' for DVD. More information to follow when it is released, expected for the 20th anniversary of the original recording.


Ken Mhyr - Guitar

Ken played on Black Eyed Man and Pale Sun, Crescent Moon. Ken has played with many other bands, included a number of years with Jane Siberry and released a solo cassette, shown here.

Peter Moore - Producer

I haven't listed all producers, engineers, etc. but Peter Moore deserves special mention. His method of recording the band live, using only a single Calrec Ambisonic Microphone starting with Whites Off Earth Now!! and then the landmark The Trinity Session helped define the band. Peter used the same method to record Girl Talk by Holly Cole in 1990. Details can be found at Holly Cole's site.

John Prine - Vocals

John provided vocals on "If You Were the Woman and I Was the Man" from Black Eyed Man, Live! and 200 more miles. John is a singer/songwriter whose songs have been covered by artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Bette Midler and Johnny Cash.

Colm O'Reilly - Bass Guitar

Filled in when Al was either sick or unavailable.


Tony Quarrington - Lead Guitar on Murder, Tonight, In the Trailer Park.

Tony is a talented guitar player and producer who is best known for his work in the world of Jazz.

Don Rook - Lap steel - Black Eyed Man


Carl Schab - Viola - Lay It Down


Peter Schab - Violin - Lay It Down


Ron Sexsmith - Vocals

Ron appeared with the band on July 2, 2007 in Montreal


Steve Shearer - Harmonica

Steve played harmonica on 3 tracks on The Trinity Session. Steve met the band during shows for Whites Off Earth Now!! and introduced himself as a harmonica player. As it turned out they called on him to play on their most successful album.

Rob Summerville - Trombone on Oregon Hill


Terry Templetion - Backing Vocals in concert only


John Timmins - Guitar and Vocals

Older brother John played on 'The Trinity Session'. You can hear his harmonies on Misguided Angel, a song that was recorded on the first take, the first time all the players had performed this song together. John rejoined the band in 2005 for the CD 'Early 21st Century Blues' and the subsequent tour.

Tom Walsh - Trombone on Oregon Hill

Tom formed the band NOMA in 1989 and has had a varied and very successful career as a musician.


Tim White - Organ - Lay It Down


Gavin Wright - Orchestra leader - Miles From Our Home

Please send corrections to Bob
Last Update: October 18, 2015
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