With Cowboy Junkies' new album, All That Reckoning, the band once again gently shakes the listener to wake up. Whether commenting on the fragile state of the world or on personal relationships, this new collection of songs encourages the listener to take notice. It also may be the most powerful album Cowboy Junkies have yet recorded.
While the music is characteristically easy to listen to, the songs on "All That Reckoning" are visceral. In true Junkies fashion, the gentleness is juxtaposed with rock that can be jarring.
"It's a deeper and a more complete record than we've ever done before," says Michael. "We've always tried to make records that are relevant to who we are as people... These songs are about reckoning on a personal level and reckoning on a political level. So much is going on around us right now and nobody knows where it's going to end up."
Anyone who has been following their three decade-long journey knows the band has always traveled on its own path. From the auspicious debut of Whites Off Earth Now and the subsequent international breakthrough with The Trinity Session, to the group's Nomad Series of themed albums (2010-2012), Cowboy Junkies have never let music business trends dictate where the band was headed.
Unlike most long-lasting groups they have never had a break up or taken a sanity-saving hiatus. There's an appreciation of each other that keeps them constantly working. "It's that intimacy and understanding of what each one of us brings to the table," says Michael. "Even if the world doesn't know it, we do."
Cowboy Junkies are not following anyone else's guidebook. It's advice Margo gave to her 15-year-old son, who is an aspiring musician in his own band. "He asked me, 'How do you come up with the next 'latest thing'? I told him, 'Don't try. It's your music... Just love what you're doing and do it your own way."