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High Winds White Sky (Bonus Track Edition)

Bruce Cockburn

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Album Review

A remarkably fresh and timeless recording, Bruce Cockburn's second album concentrates far more on roots music than its predecessor. There's the ragtime blues of "Happy Good Morning Blues," the ambitious minor-key troubadour folk of "Love Song," and the slide guitar country of "One Day I Walk" to kick things off. And over the album's original ten songs it just becomes more ambitious. "Golden Serpent Blues," with its poignant and percussive piano lines, is something out of a Western Canadian barrelhouse where the piano player has heard and loved "Lady Madonna." Overall, however, this album — like Sunwheel Dance that follows it — presents a far more mystical Cockburn. His tenderness and poetic vision are almost pastoral on these early recordings, something that would get burned off and become hard-bitten (if no less romantic and more dramatic) as his music and social vision grew. [The two bonus tracks, "Totem Pole" and "Elephant Walk," could have been left off, allowing the beautifully remastered sound to stand on its own. Recorded live in 1970 at a coffeehouse, they are lyrically clever and the guitar playing is phenomenal even then, but they are poorly recorded and sung, sending a restrained yet lush recording out on an angular bent. It's easy to program these tracks out, as they add little if anything in terms of enlightenment regarding Cockburn's aesthetic development.]

Biography

Born: 27 May 1945 in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Immensely popular in his native Canada, singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn has found only cult success south of the border, in spite of a rich, varied body of work and considerable critical nods. He has won numerous Juno Awards and has kept the quality control on most of his albums at a high level. Cockburn's first decade of work (1970-1979) is largely literate, singer/songwriter folk-rock, often with a strong Christian tone and mystical, devotional lyrics. In 1979, Cockburn had his only major U.S....
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High Winds White Sky (Bonus Track Edition), Bruce Cockburn
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