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Bruce Cockburn at Studio Bell on writing songs and rhythms

January 24, 2018
While visiting Studio Bell, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Cockburn reflected on words and rhythm, and how they play into his songwriting process.

The National Music Centre and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame held the formal plaque ceremony as part of Bruce Cockburn’s induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on January 21, 2018.

The National Music Centre in Calgary has been the physical home of three Canadian Music Halls of Fame—the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Collection—since opening in 2016. Members of all three Halls of Fame have visited their plaques, such as Sarah McLachlan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tom Cochrane, Burton Cummings, Bob Ezrin, Randy Bachman and The Tragically Hip, to name a few.




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.


14 January 2018 – This is the short film biography that was shown on the big screens during the celebration.

Published to YouTube by: Matt Zimbel – What an honour to tell this man’s story. Writer / Producer MZ, Editor Hugh John Murray, Voice Over, Olaf Gundel.


(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

Related Posts:
22 January 2018 – Bruce Cockburn reflects on his career – Plaque ceremony at Studio Bell
31 January 2018 – Video Studio Bell – Bruce Cockburn on writing songs and rhythms



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

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – guitar & voice
Colin Linden – guitar
John Dymond – bass
Miche Pouliot – drums
Ken Pearson – organ


Bruce Cockburn & band on Jay Leno – Listen For The Laugh – April 25, 1994

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – guitar & voice
Colin Linden – guitar
John Dymond – bass
Miche Pouliot – drums
Ken Pearson – organ


Bruce Cockburn with Colin Linden from Austin City Limits – 1992


Bruce Cockburn on Letterman – Dream Like Mine – 1991

 

Out & About

Bruce & Friends

  • Colin Linden – Buffy Sainte-Marie – Bruce Cockburn – Junos 2017 – photo – True North Records
    Colin Linden – Buffy Sainte-Marie – Bruce Cockburn – Junos 2017 – photo – True North Records


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…



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