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BRUCE COCKBURN > 50th Anniversary

New Bruce Cockburn Box Set Timed To True North Records Anniversary

by Nick Krewen – fyimusicnews.ca

As much as this vinyl-exclusive three-album collection of Bruce Cockburn, The Charity Of Night and Breakfast In New Orleans…Dinner In Timbuktu commemorates the five decades that the Ottawa-born singer, songwriter and master guitarist has been a recording artist, it also serves as a celebration of 50 years of True North Records, the label started in 1969 by Cockburn’s manager, impresario Bernie Finkelstein.

Remastered by Colin Linden and limited to 750 multi-coloured 5LP sets personally signed by Cockburn, manufactured by Toronto-based Microforum Vinyl Record Pressing, and available exclusively via Linus Entertainment, The True North 50th Anniversary Box Set also honours the loyal professional relationship between the singer/songwriter and his manager.

And the secret sauce to the 50-year-plus management relationship between Bernie Finkelstein and his star client?

“First off, I’m a real admirer of his music – all 34 albums of it,” Finkelstein replied in an interview. “There are 350 to 500 songs out there and I’m probably one of the only people alive that knows them all.

“We’ve done quite well, which helps. The fact that I know all his music wouldn’t mean anything if, you know, if we were down in the dumps all the time.

“Bruce is also very, very easy to work with,” Finkelstein continues. “This is going to sound very simple – and perhaps very simplistic – but if I didn’t call him, I’m not sure he’d ever call me, because he’s not really a big-time careerist.

“It can be very frustrating because Bruce could be even bigger than he is now if he wanted to be. He’s quite content to continue to do things the way that he does it.”

From the artist’s standpoint, Bruce Cockburn says Finkelstein possesses a number of laudable traits.

“He’s an interesting character on so many levels,” said Cockburn recently from his San Francisco haunt. “I so admire him. I admire his gift for strategizing. I admire his love of the music, which is deep and genuine.

“He’s a business guy and he thinks like a business guy, but in contrast to other certain people that I’ve run into over the years, he has a really deep understanding of music and very good ears. Although he and I may disagree over this or that or the other thing, when it comes down to it, Bernie’s appreciation of the song is as informed and as sensitive as anybody’s could be.

“That had a lot to do with it – and he was doing what he was doing for the money. He could have made more money doing it for someone else,’” Cockburn laughs. “So, I appreciate the fact that he’s put in all that time and loyalty – I think we’ve been loyal to each other. I’m sure that’s part of it.”

With such a longstanding and mutually rewarding relationship, you’d think there’d be frequent backyard BBQs or frequent socializing.

Surprisingly, Finkelstein says that’s not the case.

“We don’t share much socially,” he explains. “We don’t hang out a lot – especially with him in San Francisco and me here, we never did. I think all of those things add up to a relationship that doesn’t get too complicated by other complex things.”

But Finkelstein says he and Cockburn do have certain commonalities.

“We both like getting things done and making sure that things are the best that we can do, all the time. In Bruce’s songs, he’s often referring to things like eclipses and event horizons and things like that that he just drops into songs. We both have a real interest in that kind of thing.”

Bernie Finkelstein - Bruce Cockburn - Geoff Kulawick

Obviously though, the relationship is important enough to both men that when Finkelstein sold True North, he and Cockburn maintained their handshake management association.

“When I sold True North in late 2007 [to Geoff Kulawick, Harvey Glatt and Michael Pilon], I decided that I was going to mostly retire from the music business, but I thought that Bruce and myself had some unfinished business to do,” he notes.

“So, we stayed on and it’s been another 12 or 13 years since I did that. Things keep rolling along. It’s almost taken a pandemic to make us stop.”

Distributed physically by Cadence/Fontana North, designed by Juno award winner A Man Called Wrycraft, and featuring new liner notes from author and music historian Nicholas Jennings, The True North 50th Anniversary Box Set is available for $199.00 (CDN) through Linus and north of $200 on Amazon.

The album flats were shipped to San Francisco for Cockburn to sign at home, then shipped back over the border for assembly. The handsome box set also features a new True North logo designed by Brooke Kulawick and all copies are individually numbered.

As far as the True North label history is concerned, Finkelstein is happy he provided a creative home to help establish acts like Murray McLauchlan, Barney Bentall, Rough Trade and Blackie and The Rodeo Kings – and on the management side, in partnership with Bernie Fiedler – Dan Hill.

“I miss that old label. I’m very, very proud of the work I did with Murray McLauchlan, Rough Trade and all the rest,” said Finkelstein. “We had our fair share of hits, but the one thing we never lost sight of was high quality, not to chase the commercial end of the business.”

In terms of the inclusion of Bruce Cockburn, The Charity of Night and Breakfast in New Orleans…Dinner In Timbuktu as box set choices, Cockburn says it makes sense.

“Of course, you’re going to put the first album on the 50th-anniversary set,” Cockburn notes. “ But the other ones were chosen consciously because they represent stuff I’ve done in a way that’s as good as it gets. Those albums are, within themselves, very complete expressions of the time and set of situations. And they work very well musically.
“Once in a while I’ll hear a track from an older album and think,’ Wow, geez, that was pretty good!!’” he laughs. “It surprises me, not because I forget, but because the path becomes a big wash. When something pops out of that wash that is noteworthy, it catches my attention.”

Cockburn may be contemplating a new album…or not.

“I’m not much of a planner – I never have been, “ he admits. “This year was supposed to be filled with 50th anniversary touring, which of course, it isn’t. We’ll see what of that we’ll be able to apply to next year, but we had that instrumental album that came out a year ago that was going to be one of the things celebrated in that 50th-anniversary tour.

“So, I hadn’t thought much about a next album, really, as I still had the intention and desire of one day doing an album of other people’s songs. I was sort of thinking, well, maybe now’s the time for that. But I’ve got three new songs and now I’m thinking, maybe it isn’t yet time for that.”

Credit: www.fyimusicnews.ca


Bruce Cockburn and True North Records are excited to announce Bruce Cockburn’s ‘True North- A 50th Anniversary Box Set’

4 May 2020 – TORONTO, ON, May 4, 2020 — To be active and relevant in music for 50 years is a significant achievement for any individual recording artist. The same can be said for any independent record label. To achieve this milestone together as an artist and label team without interruption, has to be one of the most extraordinarily rare events in music.

Bruce Cockburn -True North - 50th Anniversay - vinyl box set

To celebrate this milestone, Bruce Cockburn and True North Records have produced True North – A 50th Anniversary Box Set, a Limited Edition vinyl box set containing three of Bruce’s most significant recordings. The first album where it all started, the self-titled debut Bruce Cockburn along with two albums that have never before been released on vinyl; The Charity of Night and Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu. Each album has been re-mastered by Bruce’s long-time producer Colin Linden, and is pressed on coloured vinyl. The five-180 gram discs are contained in original artwork sleeves adapted from the original designs by the acclaimed graphic designer Michael Wrycraft, and housed in an individually numbered box signed personally by the artist. There will be only a limited initial pressing.

Bruce Cockburn was the first artist signed to True North Records, the tenacious independent label founded by Bruce’s manager Bernie Finkelstein and first operated from a Yorkville Avenue phone booth. Bruce’s debut self titled album was the label’s first album release on April 7, 1970, produced by Eugene Martynec, with the catalog number TN1. Fifty years on, Bruce Cockburn still records for True North Records, which released his 34th album “Crowing Ignites” in late 2019.

Bruce says, “In 1969, when I was feeling the need to record an album of the songs I’d been writing, I had no concept of what that might lead to. In some organic way it felt like it was time. The future wasn’t really an issue. It still isn’t. For each of us, there’s a future or there isn’t. “But looking back over the arc of 50 years of recording, performing, and travel, not to mention relationships and personal challenges,” he continued, “I can only shake my head and mutter a word of thanks for all of it.”

Cockburn concluded: “Even if I’d been a planner by nature, I doubt I could have predicted how things have gone… and they’re still going!”

Pre-order your copy now! Limited Edition, Numbered Albums available! A limited number of True North – A 50th Anniversary Box Sets are being produced. All orders will be shipped to arrive on September 25th, 2020 . Lowest box numbers will be assigned to the earliest orders.

Cockburn has also scheduled fall tour dates celebrating the 50th Anniversary.
Additional updates and ticket information can be found through the official Bruce Cockburn website and the complete list of tour dates is below.

Although Mr. Finkelstein sold True North Records to entrepreneurs Geoff Kulawick, Harvey Glatt and Michael Pilon in 2007, True North continues to be a vital independent label signing and releasing records by Bruce alongside many of Canada’s leading singer-songwriters and musicians including Buffy Sainte-Marie, Murray McLauchlan, Matt Andersen, Colin James, Sass Jordan, Sue Foley, Natalie MacMaster and Jimmy Rankin.

Bruce Cockburn: True North – A 50th Anniversary Box Set – TND750 – Bruce Cockburn (LP) | A Charity of Night (2LP) | Breakfast In New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu (2LP) – 5 x 180 Gram Colored Vinyl Discs original artwork sleeves.

Bruce Cockburn 2020 anniversary Tour Dates.

~from True North Records.


Bruce Cockburn 50th Anniversary !!

Bruce Cockburn's 50th Anniversary concertsIs it really fifty years ago that Bruce Cockburn’s first album came out ?

Indeed it is. His eponymous titled album which included “Going To The Country” and “Musical Friends” was released on April 7, 1970. Coincidentally it was also the first album released by True North records. TN 1 was it’s catalogue number.

Although mostly recorded in late 1969 the first album hit the stores and airwaves in 1970 and started the long long journey that continues to this day.

Here’s what Bruce has to say:

“In 1969, when I was feeling the need to record an album of the songs I’d been writing, I had no concept of what that might lead to. Not unusual for a young person I guess. In some organic way it felt like it was time. The future wasn’t really an issue. It still isn’t. For each of us, there’s a future or there isn’t. But looking back over the arc of fifty years of recording, performing, and travel, not to mention relationships and personal challenges, I can only shake my head and mutter a word of thanks for all of it. Even if I’d been a planner by nature, I doubt I could have predicted how things have gone. And they’re still going!”

Bruce has now released 34 albums and played thousands of concerts around the world, something that he continues to do to this day.

Bruce’s songs have been covered by many artists including Jimmy Buffet, kd Lang, Barenaked Ladies, Hawksley Workman, Jerry Garcia, Anne Murray, Elbow, Mary Balin, Judy Collins, Chet Atkins, The Rankin Family, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, and on and on.

The 50th Anniversary Shows will have Bruce doing songs from each decade that he’s made records in: 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s, 2010,s and who knows, maybe even the 2020’s!

UPDATE: All these dates have been cancelled or re-booked. Please take a look here to check your tickets.

APR 10 STANFORD CA BING CONCERT HALL
APR 30 NORTHAMPTON MA ACADEMY OF MUSIC
MAY 1 BOSTON MA WILBUR THEATRE
MAY 2 BOOTHBAY HARBOR ME FLYING MONKEY CENTRE
MAY 3 PLYMOUTH NH BAILEY THEATRE
MAY 5 BURLINGTON VT HIGHER GROUND
MAY 7 FAIRFIELD CT STAGE ONE
MAY 8 FALL RIVER MA NARROW CENTER
MAY 9 NEWTON NJ NEWTON THEATRE
MAY 11 ANNAPOLIS MD RAM’S HEAD
MAY 12 ROCKY MOUNT VA HARVESTER CENTER
MAY 14 RALEIGH NC FLETCHER OPERA HOUSE
MAY 15 CHARLOTTE NC McGLOHON THEATRE
MAY 16 CHATTANOOGA TN SONGBIRD
MAY 17 ATLANTA GA CITY WINERY
MAY 20 PONTE VEDRA FL CONCERT HALL
MAY 21 CLEARWATER FL CAPITOL THEATRE
MAY 22 FT. LAUDERDALE FL BROWARD CENTER
MAY 24 KEY WEST FL KEY WEST THEATRE
SEP 4 TORONTO ON CNE BANDSHELL
OCT 16 PETERBOROUGH ON SHOWPLACE
OCT 17 OTTAWA ON NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE
OCT 18 BELLEVILLE ON EMPIRE THEATRE
OCT 20 KINGSTON ON ISABEL BADER CENTRE

Check for Tour Dates to be posted soon.

For More Information Please Contact:

Bernie Finkelstein 416-402-9937

bernie@finkelsteinmanagement.com


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