Make a list of bands with integrity, still highly respected and still making music after 25 years, and that list will have Cowboy Junkies near the top. More active than ever, the group has released four new studio records in the past two years — an insane achievement. A prolific nature doesn't define greatness, of course, but these past few years have produced some of the best music Cowboy Junkies' members have ever made.
Those albums — Renmin Park, Demons, Sing in My Meadow and this year's The Wilderness — are part of what the group calls the Nomad Series, four volumes of music with a connective theme. The first volume is inspired by a journey to China, volume two covers the songs of the late songwriter Vic Chesnutt, and the last two are collections of original songs.
The project of brothers Michael and Peter Timmins and sister Margo, along with Alan Anton, Cowboy Junkies' music is mournful and thoughtful. It rocks slowly in support of Margo's hypnotic, poignant style. The lead-off song in this tender Tiny Desk Concert, "Angels in the Wilderness" — from the latest entry in the Nomad Series — is as good as any original song they've recorded. If Cowboy Junkies' music has slipped under your radar all these many years, be sure to stop, watch and listen. For longtime fans who may have lost touch, your faith and love for the band is about to be restored.
- "Angels In The Wilderness"
- "Misguided Angel"
Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor and Videographer: Michael Katzif; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Doriane Raiman/NPR