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‘Jewel of the Junos’ – Songwriters’ Circle

April 3, 2017 –

Bruce Cockburn takes part in Juno Songwriters' Circle - photo Patrick Doyle - The Ottawa Citizen
Bruce Cockburn takes part in the Juno Songwriters’ Circle at the NAC in Ottawa on Sunday, April 2, 2017. Patrick Doyle / The Ottawa Citizen

Every song has a story.

Singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn came home to Ottawa Sunday to host what’s dubbed the “jewel of the Junos” at the National Arts Centre, bringing together established stars and up-and-comers to explore what he called the “mystery” of the craft.

“Nice to have an excuse to be back in Ottawa,” the capital-born Cockburn, 71, told the sold-out crowd at Southam Hall, which greeted him with a standing ovation before he’d sung a note.

With him for the 2017 Juno Songwriters’ Circle were nominees including Chantal Kreviazuk, Colin Linden and Wintersleep’s Paul Murphy plus the powerful singer-songwriter Donovan Woods, Acadian newcomer Lisa LeBlanc and 21-year-old R&B phenom Daniel Caesar.

“I don’t get here often enough,” Cockburn said, adding that he’d decided to perform some “old ones.”

Cockburn reached back into his catalogue to play hits like Lovers in a Dangerous Time, inspired by the “innocent and lovely” fumblings towards romance of his then pre-teen daughter, now a mother of four, amid the Cold War, AIDS crisis and environmental degradation of the 1980s.

He launched into the beautiful, menacing first bars of If I Had a Rocket Launcher after explaining its inspiration was hearing the first-hand accounts of Guatemalan refugees who’d fled savage attacks, the song’s helpless rage amplified by Linden’s haunting slide guitar.

Bruce Cockburn takes part in the Juno Songwriters Circle-2-photo - Patrick Doyle The Ottawa Citizen
Bruce Cockburn takes part in the Juno Songwriters’ Circle at the NAC in Ottawa on Sunday, April 2, 2017. Patrick Doyle / The Ottawa Citizen

Another classic song and Cockburn hit was born in Ottawa. It was the late 1970s and Cockburn’s cousin, then a Canadian spy, told him over a dinner in Hull that amid the skirmishes of China and Russia, they could all wake up tomorrow to the end of the world.

“This is a guy who knew what he was talking about — it kind of spoiled dessert,” Cockburn said.

But the next day,”Ottawa was still here,” and as he drove along the Queensway, Cockburn began Wondering Where the Lions Are, which became a Top 40 hit in the U.S. and so familiar to his fans much of the NAC crowd sang along word for word.

Colin Linden and Bruce Cockburn take part in the Juno Songwriters Circle - photo Patrick Doyle The Ottawa Citizen
Colin Linden and Bruce Cockburn takes part in the Juno Songwriters’ Circle at the NAC in Ottawa on Sunday, April 2, 2017. Patrick Doyle / The Ottawa Citizen

Bruce introduces Buffy Sainte-Marie as the recipient of Humanitarian award – JUNO 2017

April 1, 2017 – Buffy Sainte-Marie was presented with the Alan Waters Humanitarian Award at the 2017 JUNO Awards by Bruce Cockburn.

Bruce Cockburn introduces Buffy Sainte-Marie - JUNO2017
Bruce Cockburn introduces Buffy Sainte-Marie – as Alan Waters Humanitarian Award winner – JUNO2017

Here is the video – presentation starts at 3:27:28-

Bruce Cockburn presenting Buffy Sainte-MarieHumanitarian award JUNO - photo Alan Neal
Bruce Cockburn presenting Buffy Sainte-Marie with Alan Waters Humanitarian Award – JUNO 2017- photo Alan Neal
Bruce Cockburn presenting Buffy Sainte-Marie Humanitarian award JUNO 2017 - photo Alan Neal
Bruce Cockburn presenting Buffy Sainte-Marie with Alan Waters Humanitarian Award – JUNO 2017 – photo Alan Neal
Colin Linden - Buffy Sainte-Marie - Bruce Cockburn - JUNO 2017 - photo -True North Records
Colin Linden – Buffy Sainte-Marie – Bruce Cockburn – JUNO 2017 – photo – True North Records

Bruce Cockburn Announces North American Tour

Bruce Cockburn - Bone On Bone - tour dates

Bruce Cockburn Is embarking on a tour of North America.

All of the dates from September 15, 2017 to February 17, 2018 will be “band” shows and all the dates before September will be “solo” shows.

Bruce’s band shows will consist of a quartette with drummer Gary Craig, bassist John Dymond and accordionist John Aaron Cockburn.

All 3 or them are featured on Bruce’s new True North album ‘Bone On Bone” slated for release September 15, 2017.

And for the record, John Aaron is Bruce’s nephew.

There are likely to be other dates added after February 2018.

Access the Tour Dates.




Folk Alliance People’s Voice Acceptance Speech – video

Bruce Cockburn received the inaugural Folk Alliance International People’s Voice Award during the opening-night awards ceremony at the organization’s 29th annual conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Bruce Cockburn Peoples Voice Award presented by Kris Kristofferson - photo Andrea Brookhart
Bruce Cockburn & Kris Kristofferson – photo Andrea Brookhart

Here’s the video of Bruce giving his acceptance speech:

[direct link]

[click through for the transcript and more photos]


‘Keep singing’: Bruce Cockburn calls on folk artists to push for free speech

by David Friend, The Canadian Press

Folk singer Bruce Cockburn is encouraging U.S. musicians to keep pushing for free speech under the Donald Trump administration.

While accepting an honour at the Folk Alliance International awards show in Kansas City, Mo. on Wednesday night he took a moment to address the volatile political climate.

Bruce Bockburn & Kris Kristofferson - photo CANADIAN PRESS HO BrianHetherman
photo CANADIAN PRESS HO Brian Hetherman

“It seems evident that the current administration is not much interested in democracy,” he said in prepared remarks.

“They are trying to stifle opposition across the board by a range of means. Looks to me like they’re just getting started.”

The Canadian singer, who lives in San Francisco, then urged musicians to be a catalyst for dialogue and debate.

“We may get tired, but we have to keep singing,” he said.

Country singer Kris Kristofferson presented Cockburn with the People’s Voice Award in recognition of his role in social and political commentary. His 1984 track “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” is widely considered a staple of activist music.

Cockburn reflected on his experiences as a young performer during the Vietnam War, and on later years when he found his voice during the U.S. presidency of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

He then turned to the current U.S. political climate and told songwriters to consider their music as more than just words, but a “focal point for collective energy” of the community.

“Doesn’t mean we can’t sing love songs,” Cockburn reasoned.

“But if you think you can keep your head down and ignore the political side of things, it’s liable to be waiting for you with a blackjack in the alley when you come out the stage door.

Credit: MontrealGazette.com
Photo: Bruce Cockburn, left, accepts his People’s Voice Award for his role in social and political commentary from country singer Kris Kristofferson at the Folk Alliance International awards show, in Kansas City, Mo., on February 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Brian Hetherman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

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New Tour Dates and New Album Info

Bruce Cockburn - Bone On Bone tour dates
New tour with band starting in November 2017

Bruce will start touring in the eastern U.S. in November 2017, in support of his yet to be released new album Bone On Bone. Released date is set for 15 September 2017. He will tour in Canada in September 2017 and in the U.S. and Canada in January/February 2018. This tour will be a band tour, and details of that will be coming along shortly.


Kensingtontv.com offers My Beat free streaming

Bruce Cockburn to receive People’s Voice Award from Folk Alliance International

My Beat - The Life and Times of Bruce Cockburn - KensingtonTV - 2001

23 January 2017 – Kensington has produced 3 one-hour documentaries over the years with Bruce

For his hard-work, dedication and creativity over the past 40 years, Bruce will be receiving the People’s Voice award at the February 2017 Folk Alliance International Awards Show. The Folk Alliance organization presents the award to individuals who have unabashedly embraced and committed to social and political commentary in their creative work and folk music career.

To celebrate Bruce’s accomplishments, we’re offering ‘My Beat: The Life and Times of Bruce Cockburn’ for the first time to stream on VIMEO for FREE. You can freely stream the documentary until February 14th, 2017.

Link here:
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mybeat/

Credit: http://kensingtontv.com/blog/2017/01/23/bruce-cockburn-peoples-voice-award/
KensingtonTV Facebook


It’s Going Down Slow – 2003 rewrite

Originally written and released in 1971 on the Sunwheel Dance album. This version was re-written & re-recorded 2003, for the Peace Songs album compilation put out by warchild.ca.

It's Going Down Slow - 2003 rewrite - Peace Songs [Disc 2] warchild.ca     

Lyrics: 2003

Go tell the sergeant-major
To get that thing repaired
The lunatics rule in the asylum
Chaos is in the air
Oh oh oh
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow

They’re grinding the marrow of history
The ground underneath us quakes
The board of directors is looting
What’s left of the ship of state
Oh oh oh
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow

Everybody seems to be leaving
Better say your travelling prayers
It don’t matter how you get it
It’s where do you go from there
Oh oh oh
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow

God, damn the hands of glory
That hold the bloody firebrand high
Close the book and end the story
Of how so many men have died
Let the world retain in memory
That mighty tongues tell mighty lies
And if mankind must have an enemy
Let it be his warlike pride
Let it be his warlike pride

Recorded at Studio Frisson in Montreal on March 19, 2003.
Thanks to Daniel Keebler.


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