Bone On Bone

2017 - Bone On Bone
Bone On Bone

RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2017
PURCHASE: True North Records | itunes |Amazon

seen rose gold haze at the end of the day
ragged-winged hawk swooping down on prey
curtain going up on the night time shadow play.
seen sun going down set the sea on fire
black smoke boiling from burning tires
and bones in the mud — was the blood sacrifice required?
Oo-ee all the sights I’ve seen
in the depth of the world and the heart of a dream
Oo-ee all the places I’ve been
each one reflected in the states I’m in, uh huh
states I’m in

one day fit and one day fat
one day flush and one day flat
reality distorted like a sat-on hat.
one day I feel like I’m in control
the next I’m suspended in a bottomless hole
a drunk trying to shinny up a greased pole
Oo-ee all the sights I’ve seen
in the depth of the world and the heart of a dream
Oo-ee all the places I’ve been
each one reflected in the states I’m in, uh huh
states I’m in

I’m slick as a dealer in a green eyeshade
aces up his sleeve and he’s not afraid
the mayor and his uniformed monkeys have been well paid.
climbing up the ivy to the balcony above
where pines the heart of my one true love
obsession, delusion — all that waits is the fateful shove
Oo-ee all the sights I’ve seen
in the depth of the world and the heart of a dream
Oo-ee all the places I’ve been
each one reflected in the states I’m in, uh huh
states I’m in

crows in the treetops motors in the road
structures of darkness that the dawn corrodes
into the title montage of a new episode.
whisper wells up from the deeps untrod
overflows its channel and spreads abroad
gathers in power like a lightning rod
Oo-ee all the sights I’ve seen
in the depth of the world and the heart of a dream
Oo-ee all the places I’ve been
each one reflected in the states I’m in, uh huh
states I’m in

May 21, 2016 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitars, Percussion and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
Colin Linden – Guitars, Mandotar and Harmony
John Whynot – Organ
Brandon Robert Young – Harmony

you got lamentation
you got dislocation
sirens wailing and the walls come down

you got revelation
you got felt relation
door creaks open and the trumpet sounds

we’re taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
set the spirit free

we’re taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
set the spirit free

you got incantaion
you got quantum vibration
temple trembles as the Lord draws nigh

you got transformation
thunder shaking
seal is broken and the spirit flies

we’re taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
set the spirit free

we’re taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
set the spirit free

January 11, 2016 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitar and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian
Colin Linden – Slide Guitar
Ruby Amanfu & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

forty years in the wilderness getting to know the beasts
projected and reflected on the greatest and the least
forty years of days and nights — angels hovering near
kept me moving forward though the way was far from clean
and they said
take up your load
run south to the road
turn to the setting sun
sun going down
got to cover some ground
before everything comes undone
comes undone

forty years in the wilderness dancing with the flies
dazzled by the visions rolling out before my eyes
angel-made graffiti, demons in disguise
you could trade away your birthright for anothe day’s supplies
or you could
take up your load
run south to the road
turn to the setting sun
sun going down
got to cover some ground
before everything comes undone
comes undone

rising with the height of land, falling with the crowd
spirits in the scouring wind called my name out loud
said you could go to heaven, you could go to hell
you could hang out in between in the place you know so well
or you could
take up your load
run south to the road
turn to the setting sun
sun going down
got to cover some ground
before everything comes undone
comes undone

June 19, 2016 – Saratoga Springs, CA

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitars and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian
Mary Gauthier & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

cafe society meets in front of Peet’s
goes on about the goings on up and down the street
talk about evictions, talk about the dogs
the drunkards in the dog park and once and future fog
the caliphate of perverts and the flight of refugees
the growing ranks of homeless and the disappearing bees

cafe society — a sip of community
cafe society — misery loves company
hey — it’s a way
to start the day
cafe society talking up a storm
talk about the Nasdaq and the Racing Form
talk about the opera, talk about cars
talk about the desert and the colonies on Mars
talk about tsunamis and the crazies with their guns
and the crazy-ass policemen shooting everything that runs

cafe society — a sip of community
cafe society — misery loves company
hey — it’s a way
to start the day

talk about beauty, talk about disease
the supersize container ships that ply the swelling seas
somebody went to heaven. left some parts in the bay
But he’s a friending of a friending — I don’t know him anyway
flapping lips of flatulence bellow “vote for ME”
everything is spinning in the looming entropy

cafe society — a sip of community
cafe society — misery loves company
hey — it’s a way
to start the day

December 29, 2015 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitar, Harmonica and Vocals
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums
Colin Linden- Vocals
Ron Miles – Coronet

Stand in the swaying boxcar doorway
moving east away from the sunset and
after a while the eyes digest a country and
the belly perceives a mapmaker’s vision
in dust and dirt on the face and hands here
its smell drawn deep through the nostrils down
to the lungs and spurts through the bloodstream
campaigns in the lower intestine and
chants love songs to the kidneys
After a while there is no arrival and
no departure possible any more
you are where you were always going
and the shape of home is under your fingernails..

I’m a product of some parents of the sort that shouldn’t breed
didn’t get much of schooling past learning how to read
got the poetry bug in some forgotten institution
when first I did embark on my career of destitution
the beauty of language set a hook in my soul
me like a breadcrust soaking soup from a bowl
You can call this a rant but I declare I declaim
Al Purdy’s poems are the name of the game
the winds of fate blow where they will
I’ll give you 3 Al Purdy’s for a twenty dollar bill

Pokers in the counting house counting out the bacon
matter’s getting darker in the universe they’re making
they love the little guy until they get a better offer
with the dollar getting smaller they can fit more in their coffers
and the doings on the corner neither sung nor seen
they’re circling the shopping carts at Sherbourne and Queen
I resemble that assembly but I’m not the same
Al Purdy’s poems are the name of my game
the winds of fate blow where they will
I’ll give you 3 Al Purdy’s for a twenty dollar bill

You can spit on the prophet but respect the word
I’ve got some lines I want to spin you that you ought to have heard
the winds of fate blow where they will
I’ll give you 3 Al Purdy’s for a twenty dollar bill

the winds of fate blow where they will
I’ll give you 3 Al Purdy’s for a twenty dollar bill

And after the essence of everything
had exchanged itself for words and became
another being and could even be summoned
from the far distance we chanted a spell of names
and we said “mountain be our friend”
and we said “River guard us from enemies”
And we said what it seemed the gods themselves
might say if we had dreamed them and they
had dreamed us from their high places
and they spoke to us in the forest
from the river and the mountain
and the mouths of the ochre-painted dead
had speech again and the waters
spoke and the speech had words
and our children remembered

December 29, 2015 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitars and Vocal
Scott Amendola – Drums
John Shifflett – Upright bass
Julie Wolf – Accordian
Gary Craig – Fan and Other Percussion
John Dymond – Electric Bass
Ron Miles – Coronet

Produced by Julie Wolf – with additional production by Colin Linden

looking and waiting — it’s what I do
scanning the skies for a beacon from you
shapes on the curtain, but no clear view
of you

you’re a warm bright window lighting up the rain
I catch a glimpse of the glow but I still remain
outside where the shadows pool and bleed
chimney silhouettes semaphore in a code I cannot read

looking and waiting — it’s what I do
scanning the skies for a beacon from you
shapes on the curtain, but no clear view
of you

you’re like the leaves that come down from the trees
a suggestion of a springtime to be
crunching underfoot outlined in frost
full of promise for the return of something lost

looking and waiting — it’s what I do
scanning the skies for a beacon from you
shapes on the curtain, but no clear viewv of you

looking and waiting — it’s what I do

January 23, 2016 – Toronto

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – 12 String Guitar, Mbira and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums and Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian and Sansula
Colin Linden – Slide Guitar
Brandon Robert Young & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

Instrumental

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitar and Bones

(French)
Mon chemin
Qui sait
ou serait
mon chemin
sinon ici?

chemin de fer
chemin de l’air
chemin de lumière
parfois d’éclairs
de nuit, de jour
toujours ces carrefours
putain de détours
encore je cours
je cours toujours.

Qui sait
ou serait
mon chemin
sinon ici?

de jour, de nuit
le chemin fleuri
fleurs d’esprit
fleurs de folie
on pleure, on rit

on pleure, on rit
le chaos s’élargit
il y a peu d’abri
c’est pas le paradis
ce chemin de ma vie

mais qui sait
ou serait
mon chemin
sinon ici?

(English)
who knows
where my
road would be,
if not here

iron road
road of earth
road of the air
road of light
sometimes lightning

by night by day
always these crossroads
fucking detours
still I’m running
always running

who knows
where my
road would be,
if not here

by day by night
the road blooms
flowers of spirit
flowers of madness
you cry, you laugh

you cry. you laugh
chaos expands
not much shelter…
it’s no paradise
this road of my life

who knows
where my
road would be,
if not here

September 9, 2015 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Charango, Dulcimer and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums and Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian and Harmony
Ron Miles – Coronet

on the coastline
where the trees shine
in the unexpected rain
there’s the carcass
of a tanker
in the centre of a stain
and the waves of
dead sea things
slide slick on to the stones
and the flux
thicker than water
from the planet’s pierced bones

in a jeweler’s
armoured window
you can just cast your eyes on
a diamond-crusted
pendant
in the shape of Bart Simpson
through mirrored
cops in armour
and the drift of gas clouds
drones the
size of horseflies
scrutinizing the crowds
and the horsemen
on a high ridge
they wheel and they ride
their work all
done for them
by the turgid black tide

false river, dark flow
how far do we have to go?
torrent tumbles to the sea
this ain’t the way it’s supposed to be
false river

life blood
of the land
consort of our earth
pulse to the
pull of moonrise
can you tally what it’s worth?
we can spend it
till we end it
while the heat climbs up the graph
till we’re panting
like a salmon
with its gill hooked on a gaff
and the dark blood
keeps flowing
like a hemorrhage from the womb
that birthed us
gave us substance
on our own heads be our doom

false river, dark flow
how far do we have to go?
torrent tumbles to the sea
this ain’t the way it’s supposed to be
false river

August 24, 2016 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitar, Harmonica and Vocal
Roberto Occhipinti – Upright Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian
Colin Linden – Electric Guitar
Brandon Robert Young & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

This song is included in the book Refugium Poems for the Pacific which was compiled by Yvonne Bloomer.

I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
headed for
headed for
headed for the City of God

standing on the platform
awed by the power
I feel the fire of love
feel the hand upon my shoulder saying “brother climb aboard”
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
headed for
headed for
headed for the City of God

standing on the platform
locomotive throbbing
I’m drawn to that open door
in the wonder of a child’s heart I’m stepping up the stair
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
headed for
headed for
headed for the City of God

February 13, 2015 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – 12 String Guitar, Mbira and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums and Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian and Sansula
Colin Linden – Slide Guitar
Brandon Robert Young & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

(Chorus)
O — what a beautiful city
O — what a beautiful city God knows
what a beautiful city
twelve gates to the city, hallelu

three gates in the east, three gates in the west
three gates in the north, three gates in the south
which should make twelve gates to the city, hallelu

(Chorus)

city on the hilltop — I’m gonna make it mine
gonna be a citizen of a world of love divine
twelve gates to the city, hallelu

(Chorus)

no matter which tribe you’re born to there’s a way in for you
come from any quarter — you can be a citizen too
’cause there’s twelve gates to the city, hallelu

(Chorus)

June 19, 2016 – Saratoga Springs, CA

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – 12 String Guitar and Vocals
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
Ron Miles – Coronet
Ruby Amanfu & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chours – Vocals

Traditional Song with new arrangment and added verses



Liner Notes:

Produced by Colin Linden
* Produced by Julie Wolf – with additional production by Colin Linden
Mixed by John Whynot at Fantasy Studio D, Berkeley, CA – assisted by Robert Kirby & Aiden Nelson
except “3 Al Purdys”, “Looking And Waiting” & “Stab At Matter” mixed by COLIN LINDEN at Pinhead Recorders

Recorded At Prairie Sun Recording Studio, Cotati, CA by Matthew Wright, assisted by Jaycob Bellochio, Ben Bacey and Nate Nauseda
except “3 Al Purdys” recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA by Adam Munoz with additional recording by Julie Wolf,
and ‘False River” & “Jesus Train” recorded at Union Street Studios, Toronto, Canada by Chris Stringer, assisted by Alex Gamble
and ‘Bone On Bone” recorded at Pinhead Recorders, Nashville, TN by Colin Linden
Additional recording at Pinhead Recorders by Colin Linden
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound New York

All Songs are written by Bruce Cockburn and Published by Holy Drone Corp (SOCAN) except:
3 Al Purdys which is written by Bruce Cockburn and Al Purdy and published by Holy Drone Corp and The Al Purdy Estate and
“Twelve Gates To The City” which is traditional with additional verses written by Bruce Cockburn and published by Holy Drone Corp.

Bone On Bone - Bruce Cockburn

Album photography by Daniel Keebler
Cover photo by Bruce Cockburn

Art Direction design & layout by A Man Called Wrycraft www.wrycraft.com

Translation by Marcel Moussette & Jane Macaulay

Direction:
Bernie Finkelstein
The Finkelstein Management Company
bernie@finkelsteinmanagement.com

We acknowledge the financial support of the government of Canada through the Canada Music Fund

The San Francisco Lighthouse “Chorus” is:
Kate Lamont
Amanda Perez
Tamara Silvera
Julie Suan
Jonathon Travis
Juliana Travis
Shanna Travis
Julie Wolf
Andi Woodward

Album Note:
Thanks are due, whether they like it or not, to: Jeff Garner, the Gospel of Mark (Forty Years in the Wilderness); Charlie, Craig, Pam and Pam, Amanda, Philip, Belinda, Fiona, Carl, Sheila and the rest of the morning gang at Peet’s (Cafe Society); Brian Johnson, Julie Wolf, Al Purdy RIP (3 Al Purdys); les Guillaumes…Appollinaire et Chattier (Mon Chemin); Yvonne Blomer, Enbridge et al (False River); SF Lighthouse, Marc Bregman (Jesus Train); Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry, Rev Gary Davis (Twelve Gates to the City); God, MJ, Iona, Bernie Finkelstein, Daniel Keebler, and the United States of America, for welcoming me into its tender embrace.

The catalogue # is TND678 and the UPC is: 620638067826


Bruce Cockburn – Bone on Bone

Few recording artists are as creative and prolific as Bruce Cockburn. Since his self-titled debut in 1970, the Canadian singer-songwriter has issued a steady stream of acclaimed albums every couple of years. But that output suddenly ran dry in 2011 following the release of Small Source of Comfort. There were good reasons for the drought. For one thing, Cockburn became a father again with the birth of his daughter Iona. Then there was the publication of his 2014 memoir Rumours of Glory.

“I didn’t write any songs until after the book was published because all my creative energy had gone into three years of writing it,” Cockburn explains, from his home in San Francisco. “There was simply nothing left to write songs with. As soon as the book was put to bed, I started asking myself whether I was ever going to be a songwriter again.”

Such doubt was new to the man who’s rarely been at a loss for words as he’s distilled political views, spiritual revelations and personal experiences into some of popular music’s most compelling songs. What spurred Cockburn back into songwriting was an invitation to contribute a song to a documentary film about the late, seminal Canadian poet Al Purdy and he was off to the races.

Bone On Bone, Cockburn’s 33rd album, arrives with 11 new songs, including “3 Al Purdys,” a brilliant, six-minute epic that pays tribute to Purdy’s poetry. Cockburn explains its genesis: “I went out and got Purdy’s collected works, which is an incredible book. Then I had this vision of a homeless guy who is obsessed with Purdy’s poetry, and he’s ranting it on the street. The song is written in the voice of that character. The chorus goes, ‘I’ll give you three Al Purdys for a twenty dollar bill.’ Here’s this grey-haired dude, coat tails flapping in the wind, being mistaken for the sort of addled ranters you run into on the street—except he’s not really ranting, he’s reciting Al Purdy. The spoken word parts of the track are excerpts from Purdy’s poems. After that, once the ice was broken, the songs just started coming.”

Cockburn’s rugged fingerpicking style on the Dobro perfectly matches Purdy’s plainspoken words and the grizzled voice of his street character. A similar guitar style can be heard on two of the next songs Cockburn wrote, the gospel-like “Jesus Train,” and “Café Society,” a bluesy number about people who gather at his local coffee shop to sip their java and talk about the state of the world.

There’s a prevalent urgency and anxious tone to much of the album, which Cockburn attributes to living in America during the Trump era. But, more than anything, Bone on Bone amounts to the deepest expression of Cockburn’s spiritual concerns to date. The 12-time Juno winner and Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee turned away from traditional Christianity in the mid-1970s toward a quest for the more all-inclusive mysticism he documents in his memoir. And it’s that kind of spirituality that figures prominently in “Jesus Train” and “Twelve Gates to the City.” In “Looking and Waiting,” Cockburn sings of “scanning the skies for a beacon” from the divine.

“It’s a song of faith and frustration,” says Cockburn of the latter. “…Tired of looking in from the outside. My MO has always been to be aware of the divine…that dimension…always dealing with being stuck in a kind of observer’s position with respect to all that. I know it’s there. I don’t really see as faith so much as knowledge. Others may have different ideas about those things, but for me, I don’t have to struggle to believe in God, or the notion that God cares what happens to me. But I do have to struggle with being in a conscious, intentional relationship. That underlies a lot of these songs.”

“Forty Years in the Wilderness” ranks alongside “Pacing the Cage” or “All the Diamonds” as one of Cockburn’s most starkly beautiful folk songs. “There have been so many times in my life when an invitation has come from somewhere…the cosmos…the divine…to step out of the familiar into something new. I’ve found it’s best to listen for, and follow these promptings. The song is really about that. You can stay with what you know or you can pack your bag and go where you’re called, even if it seems weird…even if you can’t see why or where you’ll end up.”

“Forty Years in the Wilderness” is one of several songs that feature a number of singers from the church Cockburn frequents, for the sake of convenience referred to in the album credits as the San Francisco Lighthouse “Chorus.” “The music was one of the enticements that drew me to SF Lighthouse. As I found myself becoming one of the regulars there, and got to know the people, I felt that I really wanted all these great singers, who were now becoming friends, to be on the album. They were kind enough to say yes!” Among other songs, they contribute call-and-response vocals to the stirring “Stab at Matter.” Other guests on the album include singer-songwriters Ruby Amanfu, Mary Gauthier, and Brandon Robert Young, along with bassist Roberto Occhipinti, and Julie Wolf, who plays accordion on “3 Al Purdys” and sings with the folks from Lighthouse, together with LA songwriter Tamara Silvera.

Produced by Colin Linden, Cockburn’s longtime collaborator, the album is built around the musicianship of Cockburn on guitar and the core accompaniment of bassist John Dymond and drummer Gary Craig. Also very much part of the sound is the accordion playing of Cockburn’s nephew John Aaron Cockburn and the solos of noted fluegelhorn player Ron Miles (check out his stunning work on the cascading “Mon Chemin,” for example).

Two other songs should be noted. The environmental warning “False River” came about at the invitation of Yvonne Bloomer, the poet laureate of Victoria, British Columbia. Bloomer was seeking a poem about the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline. “Pipelines have their own perils that we’re all aware of,” says Cockburn, “so I started writing what was meant to be a spoken-word piece with a rhythm to it. But it evolved very quickly into a song.”

“States I’m In,” which opens the album, conjures up feelings of mystery and dread. “It’s literally a ‘dark night of the soul’ kind of song,” Cockburn explains, “as it starts with sunset and ends with dawn. It passes through the night. The song is about illusion and self-delusion, looking at the tricks you play on yourself.” He adds: “Maybe it’s also a play on words about me living in the States.”

Cockburn, who won the inaugural People’s Voice Award at the Folk Alliance International conference in February and will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in September, continues to find inspiration in the world around him and channel those ideas into songs. “My job is to try and trap the spirits of things in the scratches of pen on paper and the pulling of notes out of metal,” he once noted. More than forty years after embarking on his singer-songwriting career, Cockburn keeps kicking at the darkness so that it might bleed daylight. ~ Nicholas Jennings, Bernie Finkelstein & Bruce Cockburn

For further information, contact: publicity@truenorthrecords.com

Live from q studio

Follow