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Bruce Cockburn inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame-including his speech

On Saturday September 23. 2017 Bruce Cockburn along with Neil Young, the group Beau Dommage, and Stéphane Venne were inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Scroll to the end for Bruce’s acceptance speech in his own hand.


(The following is from Billboard article by Karen Bliss)

The impact of four life-changing Canadian songwriters — Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, the group Beau Dommage, and Stéphane Venne — was the common thread at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) induction ceremony over the weekend at Toronto’s Massey Hall, where professional musicians of all ages — and one former astronaut — expressed their respect and gratitude for their music.

Stéphane Venne - Buffy Saint-Marie - Neil Young - Bruce Cockburn - Randy Bachman - photo Tom Sandler
Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame – Stéphane Venne – Buffy Saint-Marie – Neil Young – Bruce Cockburn – Randy Bachman – photo Tom Sandler – 2017

This was the first induction ceremony in six years. The CSHF was created by music publisher Frank Davies in 1998; the inaugural gala was held in 2003 with six more to follow. The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers (SOCAN) purchased it in December 2011 and has been working to update the brand and educate the public about its inductees and mandate.

The historic Massey Hall, which opened in 1894, was the perfect setting for such esteemed honorees. Both Young and Cockburn have recorded live albums there and the late Jonathan Demme’s final doc on the folk-rocker, 2011’s Neil Young Journeys, culminates in two performances at Massey. It’s a venue many Toronto artists dream of headlining — our Carnegie Hall.

The four-hour show, which ran an hour over schedule, was a bilingual affair, giving equal time to the two Quebecois legends, even if, truth be told, many of the Anglophones in the audience found their own grade-school French studies proved absolutely useless. Each artist was feted with covers of their songs and stories about their influence, plus the customary tribute video.

The evening began with an cappella group Eh440 singing and beat-boxing Cockburn’s “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” from the back of the hall, down the aisle to the stage, right past the songwriter himself, as well as Neil Young with “true love” Daryl Hannah; Buffy Sainte-Marie sitting next to Randy Bachman; Venne, and members of Beau Dommage.

Continue reading article from Billboard

(Excerpt from David Friend’s article on CTVnews.ca)

A performance of Cockburn’s “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” by Blackie and the Rodeo Kings added another notch to the political tone of the event. Lisa LeBlanc joined them for Wondering Where the Lions Are.

Blackie & the Rodeo Kings - CSHF2017 - photo Gary Craig
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings – CSHF2017 – photo Gary Craig

There was also a performance by William Prince & Elisapie Isaac covering “Stolen Land” and Hawksley Workman & Don Ross covering “Silver Wheels”.

It was followed by Buffy Sainte-Marie who offered her perspective on the songwriter’s career as she introduced him onto the stage.

“Bruce is an agitator, an activist, a protester,” she said.

He writes “words that move the needle of public opinion” and that “shine the light on injustices,” Sainte-Marie added.

And here is Bruce’s handwritten speech:

Bruce Cockburn - Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame speech 2017 -pdf

To view above speech in standard pdf viewer click here.


Here’s the text version:

Thank you, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Thank you SOCAN.

I spend so much time playing and singing my own songs — it’s very interesting, very moving, to hear them performed by others! And on an occasion like this — to be so honored in the company of these wonderful artists.

I’ve been at my craft for a long time — long enough that the beginning seems like yesterday.

Under the influence of those who were a bit quicker on the draw than me, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte-Marie among others, I was seduced away from the pursuit of an education in jazz composition by songs…creations that combined music with something like poetry.

Though I didn’t understand it at the time, I came to realize that art, including the art of songwriting, is about sharing the human experience. Music is a spiritual bonding agent, a means of sharing deep feelings of all times. When you add words, the sharing becomes pointed — specific. A song can offer inspiration, distraction, solace, solidarity – a sense that we are not alone in our feelings. The human ability to create songs is precious and vital. We have always done it and I think we always will — the artifice of machines (and ISIS) not withstanding.

I’m immensely grateful to have been allowed to live a life centered around songwriting. And immensely grateful for the attention my efforts have received. To be able to do this and make a living at it is truly a great gift.

Re “Making a living at it,” I want to offer a word of thanks to Bernie Finkelstein, my friend and long-time manager, from whose asute ears and talent for strategizing I have benefited greatly. So too, all the excellent producers and musicians I have worked with, some of whom are here tonight, who have helped give my raw material the power to appeal to the world at large.

In a world increasingly defined by its fakery, we’ve together pulled off the greatest trick ever — we spread truth.

Cheers All!

CSHF 2017 Bruce Cockburn & Buffy Sainte-Marie - photo Tom Sandler
Bruce Cockburn & Buffy Sainte-Marie – CSHF 2017- photo Tom Sandler


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

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]


Rob Wasserman, Masterful Upright Bassist, Dies After Brief Hospitalization

~from Bruce’s Facebook page, by Bernie Finkelstein:

Some sad news to report. Acclaimed bassist Rob Wasserman has passed away (June 29). Here’s what Jambase reported last night.

“Just hours after Bob Weir shared the news bassist Rob Wasserman was battling serious health issues, comes word Wasserman has died. RatDog guitarist Mark Karan first revealed Rob had passed on with Weir confirming the news shortly thereafter.

Rob Wasserman
Rob Wasserman

Rob Wasserman is best known for his long tenure alongside Weir as a founding member of RatDog as well as the pair’s Bob Weir & Rob Wasserman project. Wasserman was a member of RatDog from the group’s mid ’90s formation through 2002 and then again from 2010 to their most recent performances.”

Rob played on what many people consider to be one of Bruce’s finest albums “The Charity Of Night“, recorded in 1996. Before that Bruce and Rob had played together in the early 90’s at Sony studios in New York where they along with Lou Reed and Rosanne Cash performed together on one of Bruce’s “Christmas With Cockburn” radio shows.


Video

In Studio Performances

Live in studio q – September 20, 2017


Live eTown Webisode – 2015

Date: Jan 13, 2015


Live in the Bing Lounge – KINK 101.9 – Portland, OR – 2011

Typo – should be Driving Away, not Drive Away.
Uploaded: 7 July 2011


Columbia Records Music Hour – 1994

Part 1:
Listen For The Laugh
Stolen Land
Part 2:
Closer to the Light
If I Had A Rocket Launcher
Date: August 3rd, 1994


Bruce Cockburn with Colin Linden from Austin City Limits 1992



Out & About

Bruce & Friends

 

Click on photo for a larger photo slideshow to appear.

From Pam Mark Hall on recording duet with Bruce of All The Diamonds on her new album.

Here are a few highlights from my day recording with my musical hero Bruce Cockburn. We recorded his song “All the Diamonds…



Awards

About | At A Glance | Biography | Rumours Of Glory – a memoir | Guitars


CIVIC AWARDS AND CULTURAL HONOURS

Order of Canada award
Order of Canada award

1983 – The Order Of Canada
1989 – Honourary Doctorate/York University – Doctorate Of Letters
1993 – Performance at Presidential Inaugural Ball
1997 – Honorary Doctorate of Music Berklee College of Music Boston
1999 – Honorary Degree (Doctor Of Letters) St. Thomas University (New Brunswick)
2003 – Promotion to Officer of The Order of Canada

Bruce Cockburn - Officer in the Order of Canada - 2003
Bruce Cockburn receiving promotion to the rank of Officer in the Order of Canada from Governor General Adrienne Clarkson – 2003


Bruce Cockburn - Doctorate Queen's University - 9 May 2007
Bruce Cockburn – Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Queen’s University – 2007

2007 – Honourary Doctorate Queen’s University Kingston Ontario

“In all the time I’ve spent thinking about God in my life, I never thought I’d be recognized for it.”


Bruce Cockburn - St. John's Memorial University - 2007
Bruce Cockburn – St. John’s Memorial University – 2007

May 24, 2007 – Bruce Cockburn to Receive Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Memorial University.

Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Cockburn will be honoured for his music and his commitment to the betterment of the world with an honorary doctor of letters degree during spring convocation. [ read an interview on Gavin’s Woodpile (scroll down 1/2 page) ] [ video of convocation speech (scroll to May 2007) ]


Bruce Cockburn - U of Victoria - 6June2007 - Photo: Debra Brash
Bruce Cockburn – U of Victoria – 2007

2007 – Honourary Doctorate University of Victoria, Victoria British Columbia

June 7, 2007 – “You do what you do and you hope it affects people,” he said. “I’d be doing this even if no one was listening.” [ read an article on Gavin’s Woodpile (scroll down 1/2 page) ]

 

2009 June 8 – Honourary Doctorate McMaster University – Doctor of Letters

Bruce Cockburn performing at the Diamond Jubilee Gala 2013
Bruce Cockburn performing at the Diamond Jubilee Gala – 2013

2012 – Receives Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal


Bruce Cockburn - Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award - 2014
Bruce Cockburn – Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award – 2014

2014 – Receives Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award

2014 – Acceptance Speech Video of Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award



Bruce Cockburn - Doctor of Letters - Laurentian University - 2014
Bruce Cockburn – Doctor of Letters – Laurentian University – 2014

6 June 2014 – June 2nd, 2014 – Canada’s 27th Governor-General, Michaëlle Jean, and renowned singer-songwriter and activist Bruce Cockburn are among the recipients of Honourary Doctorates at Spring Convocation ceremonies at Laurentian University this year.

Bruce Cockburn, Doctorate of Letters: Winner of a Governor-General’s Performing Arts Award and 13 Juno Awards, Bruce Cockburn has released more than 30 albums over a career spanning four decades. Mr. Cockburn is also renowned as a humanitarian and activist. In 2002, Mr. Cockburn was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame for his powerful lyrics and his immense contribution to Canadian music. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Bruce Cockburn Receives Doctor of Music  - Carleton University - 2014
Bruce Cockburn Receives Doctor of Music – Carleton University – 2014

2014 – Honourary Doctor of Music · Carleton University


Bruce Cockburn - Fremont Abbey - Denise Levertov Award - April 2015 - Photo Daniel Keebler
Bruce Cockburn – Fremont Abbey – Denise Levertov Award – 2015 – Photo Daniel Keebler

2015 – Receives Denise Levertov Literary Award
Click through to the article for video of some of the interview and several song performances.


Bruce Cockburn - Peoples Voice Award FAI - photo Lynne Margolis
Bruce Cockburn receives FAI People’s’ Voice Award – photo Lynne Margolis

2017 – Folk Alliance International People’s Voice Award
Click through for the video and transcription of Bruce’s acceptance speech.


CSHF - Bruce Cockburn- speech
Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame – Bruce Cockburn’s speech

2017 – September 23 – Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction speech and article
Click through for speech, articles and photos.


My Beat: The Life and Times of Bruce Cockburn

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

2001 – This one hour “rockumentary” takes us inside the life of Bruce Cockburn – the man and the musician – and includes live performances of Bruce’s hit songs: Lovers in a Dangerous Time, Wondering Where the Lions Are, If I Had a Rocket Launcher and And They Call it Democracy.

Bruce Cockburn is a rock musician, singer/songwriter, political activist and Canadian icon. From his beginnings in the late 60s with the rock group, The Children, through his solo career and musical collaborations over three decades, Bruce Cockburn has followed his own path creating music that has defied traditional labels.

His life informs his music. He has consistently expressed and maintained political views that haven’t endeared him to a mainstream audience. But his willingness to speak out on issues that many performers wont go near has earned him a strong following.

Of the all inclusive nature of his work, Bruce says “If the purpose of art is to reflect life and the human experience, that includes politics, as inevitably as it includes sex and spirituality, money and all the other things that interest people. I like to get everything in there.”

Available for purchase: Kensington Tv

[direct link]

Other Packaging:
My Beat:The Life and Times of Bruce Cockburn - 2001


Bruce Cockburn - River Of Sand - 1999

River Of Sand

Bruce Cockburn - River Of Sand - 1998

In 1998, acclaimed singer/songwriter and activist Bruce Cockburn travelled to Mali, West Africa with a documentary film crew, led by producer/director Robert Lang.

Over the course of several weeks, Bruce traversed this country, over half of it hugging the Sahara Desert, exploring its roots, people, ancient cultures, musical traditions and the ongoing struggle against drought and desertification.

Along the way, Bruce jammed with musicians like legendary bluesman Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate, master of the traditional 21 stringed instrument, the Kora. In the ancient city of Timbuktu, the film team visited prehistoric cliff dwellings in Sanga and met face to face with people working for a brighter future by changing the face of the desert.

River of Sand, which premiered on Vision TV in October 1998, is a travelogue of a different sort – one that touches upon the cultural, musical, and environmental roots of Mali.

 

Bruce Cockburn jams with Ali Farka Toure


[direct link]

 

Bruce Cockburn in Mali, performing “World of Wonders” with Toumani Diabate


[direct link]

River Of Sand filming

River Of Sand is available for Purchase from Kensington TV.


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