|Cowboy Junkies – All Photos by
The Rock and Roll Princess
Cowboy Junkies have been playing melancholy heart breaking music for over thirty-years. I first saw the band at Denver’s Tower Records in 1996 (R.I.P. Tower Records). I remember singer Margo Timmins confessing she was scared nobody was going to show up. It turned out to be standing room only. I saw them five years later at the Kinetic Challenge at the Boulder Reservoir in 2001. (R.I.P. Kinetic Challenge). They played Cause Cheap is How I Feel conveying Margo Timmins state of mind at the time. She was wearing drugstore makeup because the airline lost her luggage. I remember her explaining that men don’t know the anguish women feel when they lose their cherished makeup (we don’t). Seventeen years later, Cowboy Junkies are back promoting their sixteenth studio album All That Reckoning that will be released this Friday.
On a blistering hot Sunday afternoon, siblings Margo Timmins and Michael Timmins along with multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird wandered into Twist and Shout to play an acoustic set. Margo Timmins‘ son was combing through the store’s treasures and making a stack of his finding at the back counter.
Margo Timmins wore a flowing blue sundress with sparkling sandals. Throughout the performance Michael Timmins strummed his acoustic guitar slowly with his hair covering his face while Jeff Bird played the mandolin and harmonica giving the songs an extra layer of depth. The short set included covers of Vic Chestnut’s Supernatural and Townes Van Zandt’s Lungs. Margo Timmins urged those in the crowd that didn’t know the legendary artists to find their records in the store and purchase them immediately. They played two songs from their 1992 album Black Eyed Man including a song about a woman fantasizing about running away from her husband with a hoofed creature entitled A Horse in the Country — “One day I’ll saddle up/And the two of us will ride away.”
Cowboy Junkies only played one song from their new album named Shining Teeth – “I’m Going Down to the River/It’s a place where I can breathe/Lash the waters, miss my daughters/Focus on the retrieve. Work on my reprieve.” Margo Timmins joked, “It’s a sad song because all of our songs are sad.”
After their performance, the musicians gave out autographs and took pictures with the crowd. Fans adored Margo Timmins with flowers, books, and marketing advice (I know, right).
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one singing sad songs about the loss of Tower Records and the Boulder Reservoir Kinetics Challenge.