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Watch Moving Animated Video for Bruce Cockburn’s MLK-Inspired “April in Memphis”

Watch “April in Memphis”

Back in 2005, Bruce Cockburn released Speechless, an album of all-instrumentals that focused on his acoustic guitar playing. That record not only gained him further renown for his picking but earned him a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Instrumentalist. On September 20 True North Records will issue Crowing Ignites, which presents Cockburn in a similar setting once again. Unlike Speechless, which drew on previously-recorded compositions, Crowing Ignites presents 11 new songs.

Bruce Cockburn's Crowing Ignites album cover

This is Cockburn’s 34th record and once again, he deftly blends folk, blues, jazz and world sounds. Today we premiere a new animated video for “April in Memphis,” which Cockburn explains he wrote in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated outside The Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Cockburn tells Relix, “The piece came into being on MLK Day 2019. It pretty much formed itself in the course of a practice session. It took the shape of a lament, more than a celebration, which set me to thinking of King’s murder, and the loss of a voice of wisdom, compassion and respect that we could really use about now. Hence, the title. I think the video conveys the right sense of the poignant beauty, of the dignity, of the man and the spirituality that fueled him.”

Cockburn will support Crowing Ignites, which is now available for pre-order, on a U.S. tour, with with these dates. You can also click here for our conversation with him, following the release of his autobiography, Rumours of Glory.

Source: Relix.com


Acoustic Classic: Bruce Cockburn’s ‘If I Had a Rocket Launcher’

In 1984, Bruce Cockburn scored an unlikely pop hit with “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” which describes the Canadian singer-songwriter’s fantasies of violent retribution following a visit to a Guatemalan refugee camp that was regularly shelled by government helicopters. Cockburn originally recorded the song in a rock-band setting, flush with electric guitars and synths, but when he stopped by AG’s studios to film a private lesson last spring (see “Band in a Box” on page 20 of the print/digital edition), he stripped the song down to just guitar and voice.

Bruce Cockburn - Acoustic Guitar Magazine cover Sept-Oct 2019 edition

The transcription on the following pages captures that performance note for note. At a glance, the notation might appear dense and complex, but you can make things easier on yourself if you break the song down and approach it systematically. You could play the first ten bars of the intro exactly as written, but it would be equally effective to improvise the natural harmonics. What’s most important here is the continuous eighth-note stream of open E notes—play them as firmly and evenly as possible, using palm muting if you’d like.

The heart of the song appears in bars 11–14. Riff A is the harmonic sequence for the subsequent verses and guitar solo, so be sure to spend plenty of time learning to play it with precision. In bars 11 and 13, maintain a barre across strings 3–5 at the seventh fret; grab the ninth-fret B and E with your third and fourth finger, respectively, or barre them both with either of those fingers. For the C6/9 chord in measures 12 and 14, keep your second finger stationed on the eighth-fret C and your first finger barred at the seventh fret, while stopping the tenth-fret G with your fourth finger.

In his off-the-cuff-feeling solo, starting at bar 45, Cockburn continues the eighth-note bass action established in the intro, above which he adds lines based mostly on 16th notes. Key to playing an effective solo here isn’t necessarily playing exactly what’s on the printed page but understanding how it works. The solo might sound intricate, but Cockburn is simply playing notes from the E natural minor scale (E F# G A B C D) entirely in seventh position—notes within easy reach of the chord shapes in the main riff. (For the lowdown on soloing with chord shapes, see Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers’ Weekly Workouts in the June 2017 and March 2018 issues of AG.) Be sure to put in the time studying this approach, as it will pay dividends for you in solo-guitar settings in general.

~from Acoustic Guitar.

Find this article and lots more in the September-October Editon of Acoustic Guitar Magazine.

Due to copyright restrictions, we are unable to post notation or tablature for this musical work. If you have a digital or physical copy of the September/October 2019 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine, you will find the music on page 60.

Direct Link: Acoustic Classic: Bruce Cockburn’s ‘If I Had a Rocket Launcher’




Songs at the Center – Master Series Episode

Songs at the Center - Master Series Episode

10 June 2019 – Bruce taped a wonderful show on 24 October 2018 while in Cleveland for an American Public Television show called Songs at the Center.

It was taped at the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewwod, Ohio. He played three songs: Forty Years in the Wilderness, If I had a Rocket Launcher and The Gift. The program is 27 minutes long and includes interview segments by Eric Gnezda.

You can view the episode here.

With thanks to Bernie Finkelstein and Daniel Keebler.

Bruce Cockburn - Songs at the Center


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.



Examining a Lifetime in Music

Bruce Cockburn on The Agenda

Bruce was recently interviewed on the tv program The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
Click through to watch.

Air Date:
Sep 12, 2017
Length:
27:38
From his humble beginnings on a farm near Pembroke Ontario,[this is an incorrect statement-and is discussed in the interview] to the streets of San Francisco, Bruce Cockburn’s music has provided an acoustic backdrop to generations of Canadians. He joins Steve Paikin to discuss his career, activism, Donald Trump, and latest album, “Bone On Bone.”
Catching Up With Bruce Cockburn;


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


Video

In Studio Performances

Bruce Cockburn – Live – 7/17/2019 – Paste Studios – New York, NY

  • Bruce Cockburn - Bardo Rush - 7/17/2019 - Paste Studios - New York, NY

Bardo Rush – Forty Years in the Wilderness – Night Train


 

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

 

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