The album that started it all for the Cowboy Junkies remains, for many, the band’s towering achievement. “The Trinity Session,” released by the Canadian quartet of Margo Timmins, Michael Timmins, Peter Timmins and Alan Anton in 1988, is a recording of such strikingly majestic ambience that one received it initially as if in the midst of a wonderfully languid daydream.
The songs were tracked live, in Toronto’s Church of the Holy Trinity, with the entire band gathered around a single microphone. There is a whispery elegance to the recording, based on Margo’s deeply sensual voice, certainly, but also as a result of the material the band chose to record – interpretations of pieces originally penned by Hank Williams and Lou Reed, new arrangements of traditional material, and a selection of original songs every bit as haunting as the covers. The Junkies brought a deeply affecting noir aspect to this subtle roots music and, in so doing, conjured a timeless classic.
Tonight, the Cowboy Junkies come to the Mary Seaton Room in Kleinhans Music Hall, to perform “The Trinity Session” in full. Tickets, priced $35, are available through BPO.org.
– Jeff Miers