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iTunes Editors' Notes

This 2011 collection is a tribute to singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt, who died on Christmas Day 2009 from an overdose of muscle relaxants. Chesnutt’s songs were loaded with sly wit and dexterous wordplay and often dependent on his own slippery, Southern delivery that added a twinkle to even the most despondent of songs. With Margo Timmins adding her pristine and solemn tone, the songs adopt a conventional trajectory that transforms the sadness of the openly suicidal tendencies of “Flirted With You All My Life” into a stunning piece of empathy. The tale of “Betty Lonely” takes on an unexpected universality, where Chesnutt once placed a delicate, personal creak. “Square Room” feels like a song soaring over the plains to the heavens that Chesnutt, a staunch atheist, would never imagine. For Chesnutt fans, it’s an odd feeling, hearing the songs with all the creases ironed out. “Strange Language” has its ominous recurring riff minimized for anthemic potential. For Cowboy Junkies fans, it’s a chance to hear the band with an added fire spurring them on, as the heaviness of “Ladle” surely attests.

Customer Reviews

Perfect Fit

That unmistakable "Cowboy Junkie Sound", married with the insightful/inciting lyrical vision of Vic Chestnutt, fits like hand in glove. The cynical edge of Chestnutt's work, as the review points out, is given the equivilant of a musical hug here, giving it a warmth even as it cuts to the bone. And Chestnutt's songs give the Junkies' a freshness, an edge that adds a new layer in their performance. A reat treat!


Formed: 1985 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

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

Although it didn't originally have anything to do with their sound, the Cowboy Junkies' name wound up seeming pretty accurate: their music was grounded in traditional country, blues, and folk, yet drifted along in a sleepy, narcotic haze that clearly bore the stamp of the Velvet Underground. The vast majority of their songs were spare and quiet, taken at lethargic tempos and filled with languid guitars and detached, ethereal vocals courtesy of Margo Timmins....
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