Transcript: Transcript A conversation with Bruce Cockburn: Canada’s Revered Singer-Songwriter

Hello, and thanks for giving me your ear today. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting increasingly upset about the news of the day. I know that good news doesn’t sell, but all this talk of climate change and war and inflation and the like, none of which I can do anything about, is really starting to affect me. So I’ve decided to take some time away from the news and listen instead to things that make me feel good. Of course, music is my happy place, so I’m spending more time listening to the tunes from the artists that I feature here every week.
Today, my special guest is someone who’s been creating intelligent folk rock since the 60s. He’s worldrenowned Canadian singer songwriter Bruce Cockburn, the virtuoso guitarist who’s always been hell bent on providing articulate, insightful songs that speak to the political and social injustices and inadequacies of the world. Whether you’re familiar or not with his work, I’m sure you’re going to enjoy hearing from this very deep thinking rocker. Hello, Bruce Cockburn. How are you?
Not too bad, how are you? I’m very well. Thank you so much for joining me. I actually want to come at this interview from a point of somebody who doesn’t know too much about you. I threatened my professional career, if you can call it that, from the end of 1965.
And you’re still going really strong, of course, with the release of this latest album that I will come to. But if you don’t mind walking me back through your life a little bit and filling our listeners in on who you are and some of the extraordinary music you’ve made over time, that would be wonderful. Well, okay. How long have we got? Well, we’ll do an abridged version, I promise.
My first album came out in 1970, in the kind of the winter of 1970, as I recall, and in the sort of made about an album a year. At that time I was only working in Canada, so a national tour. Canada and Australia have a lot in common, one of the things being the amount of space there is relative to the number of people. So a national tour in Canada didn’t involve that many shows and that was the whole field, basically. So there was a lot of time in between to make records.
And as time went on from the early 80s where when the notoriety started growing and there was more radio play and that sort of thing, it got harder to maintain that pace. Ever since then, the albums have been stretched out a bit more. But we’ve just finished recording a new album as well. I think that might be number 38. I can’t quite 37 or 38, but the albums have continued all through that period.
And in that time, the touring expanded, of course, from Canada to almost worldwide. Not quite. There’s a lot of places I haven’t been, but and I continue to tour pretty extensively in North America.
Window what do I see cows hanging out under spreading dreams don’t let down behind the sun white letters pointing to the long white line and I’m going to the country oh, love going to the country sunshine smile on me just. Jumping back to the 70s, you said you were putting out virtually an album a year. Is that because of record company pressures or because you were bursting with creativity? Little of both, actually. The record company at the time, this is how they understood promotion.
It may still be true, I don’t know. I don’t really pay all that much attention to this end of the business, but they wanted two albums a year. I said, no way. I can’t keep up that pace. Even if I could do it, the songs would be garbage.
And so they settled for one album a year and that worked, actually. It wasn’t an onerous pace to keep up and there was enough ideas around it and enough learning going on. This is the thing. The songs come out of exposure to life and the world all that that encompasses.
When we recorded the first album, I was 24, I guess. And the next few years involved a lot of travel in Canada but a lot of exposure to kind of different kinds of people and different ways of seeing things and different geography and just personal inner growth also. And that’s reflected in the songs. And there was so much ferment going on that the songs came easily.
Oh, I have been a bigger and shall be one again and few the ones with help to land within the world of man one day I walk in love one day I walk on today I walk one day I shall be home.
You’Ve always been quite a soul searcher, haven’t you? There’s a lot of deep and meaningfulness in in the lyrics that you write about and and people have always appreciated that over the years, as you grew, your sounds grew and and we grew as a result. I think there was one song, though, that came out of you, out Of The Sunwheel Dance album. That was your first recorded political song. That the anti war song going down slow.
So where you say that it came out of the things that you were seeing around you? You were obviously affected at the time with what was going on in that regard. Yeah, I mean, the idea for that song actually came way earlier. It never got finished until sometime around then, but I remember thinking of at least part of it in the mid 60s when I was going to music school. And the idea sat around for a long time before it gelled into something that could be presented to people, but, yeah, the interest has always been there.
I think what that song sort of gets at is the spiritual destruction that’s involved in that kind of attitude toward the world. I mean, world is what it is. People have been doing this for millennia, and we’re still at it. And not learning as a culture, at least, although individuals certainly seem to. It was just to cry out against all that when I first had the idea, of course, the mid 60s in the US where I was going to school in Boston and the Vietnam War was in full swing and people were being drafted and protesting and all that sort of stuff.
So it was in the air at the time. But by the time I actually recorded the song, that was either over or almost over. It just seemed like a good statement to make. And I guess it’s indicative of a certain predisposition to pay attention to that side of life as well as much as any other. Go tell the sergeant major to get that thing repaired they’re losing their palms in Asia they’re slaughtering every square whoa, going down slow whoa, going down slow.
Did you believe at the time that you could help change the world through your music? No. And I still don’t. I think I can offer commentary and a point of view, the point of view people can take or leave. But I feel like the things that I’ve put in my songs are truthful in the way that I can understand that to be, and they might be of use to somebody.
It does happen when people think of songs changing the world. I think that songs can be part of a process of change, a meaningful part. But there has to be a fertile ground for the song to fall on before you can have that. We wouldn’t know We Shall Overcome if it hadn’t become a popular anthem for the civil rights movement. And it was the combination of the movement and the song that gave the song the power that it had.
Socially speaking, without that body of popular feeling, you wouldn’t have the phenomenon of the song seeming to have that effect. That doesn’t make it worthless if you’re an artist, I think, in whatever medium, I think you have to keep putting out what you understand to be true and kind of hoping that somebody will be able to make something out of it. Yeah. You were the consummate hippie, weren’t you? I know that you jumped in the camper van and crisscrossed Canada far and wide and just strummed on your guitar for a long time.
Did you ever plan on making a huge living out of it, or was it just the passion that you were following for the love of music? I don’t think I made a plan of any sort, as I said, consummate hippie. Well, it was what I wanted to do and it was only the only thing I really wanted to do. I mean, I have other interests, of course, but the thing that I wanted to really pursue seriously was writing songs and performing them. I learned early on that at first I imagined that I would write the songs and famous people would record them and that would be fine with me because I had no desire to be in front of people playing these songs.
But I soon learned that if anybody was going to hear them, I had to get out and do it myself. I like being the guitar player in the band. I was comfortable on stage in that role, but being the lead guy, especially in a solo in the early days, it was pretty scary, but it was obvious that I had to do it. Did you try and put them in front of other artists? Oh, yeah, in a little way.
But I remember being taken backstage to meet I think it was Will and Jennings. That’s who sticks in my mind anyway. Way back when he was kind to me, I played a couple of songs and he talked about it, but he wasn’t interested in recording them. He’s a guy who writes his own great songs, so he didn’t need me. I’ve been down the Mississippi down through New Orleans yes, I have I played in California there ain’t too much I haven’t seen thought I’m a rambling man don’t do around with a rambling man left a girl in west virginia up there with that green grass grow?
Yes, I did got a girl in Cincinnati waiting where the Ohio River flows I’m a Rambling man don’t give your heart to Rambling man you better move away you’re standing too close to the plane.
Once I mess with your mind your little heart won’t be the same all I’m a Rambling man don’t mess around with any old rambling man.
He didn’t like the kind of more Dylanesque side of what I was doing. Like the wordy side. He liked the simpler, more direct songs and said so. And, you know, that was his advice, was to keep keep the song simple like that, which, of course, I did not really take. I have some of those, but I’m interested in too many different ways of doing things to stick with one thing like that.
And Bruce Cockburn, the process of songwriting, when you’d written something and recorded it, was it very cathartic for you? Not exactly that. There’s certainly a thing that happens inside when I’m writing the song. There’s a kind of excitement. I feel like a bloodhound on the trail.
I’ve got my nose to the ground and I’m tracking down the idea and trying to wrestle it into something that’s communicable. That’s an exciting process for me. I suppose it’s similar to what some people get out of a good game of chess or something, but after the fact, the song has a relationship to something in the core of me. So when I sing it, that relationship is kind of triggered and is in a performance normally, but I don’t really know how to describe what that relationship exactly is. Sometimes on some level, it’s as simple as if the lyrics are about a particular thing.
And I’m taken back to feelings that are associated with that thing. Just like looking at a snapshot of something. Yeah, but it happens on other levels, too, and it’s kind of a murky process. But if I get into it the way I should get into it in a performance, it’s cathartic then, but only till the song’s over. And then it’s back then, because then I have to jump to whatever the next song is.
Up on this hillside you can see the cross shine out in the alley hear the hungry dog whine. You and I, friend, sit waiting for a sign.
See how the sunset makes the lake look like wine?
Over the mountain I can hear myself call. I want to come running, but my window too small. The cliff so high. Then I might fall.
What were you saying? Oh, it’s nothing at all.
Are you always happy with the songs that come out of you? Or is there an element of frustration there sometimes, too? Oh, sure there is. Yeah. I feel there’s a lot of pages that were written in my notebooks where there’s nothing to show for it, so sometimes the ideas don’t work.
I remember working all night on the song and thinking it was really great. I had this great guitar part that it was quite a complicated guitar part, but I had it down. But then I went to sleep. I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t play it, and the song didn’t seem nearly as good as it had the night before. This kind of thing would have depended on what she was smoking at the time, I’d imagine.
No, I don’t do that. No, you never did not. Never did. But I had a flirtation with it way back when. Everybody did, in a way, but that direction and me don’t get along too well.
Good. You discovered that early. It took a couple of years to discover it. As the early 70s wore on, Bruce Cockburn continued to write about nature, spirituality and love. Stay tuned to hear why Bruce decided to convert to Christianity.
This is a breath of fresh air with Sandy Kaye It’s a beautiful day. Thanks for hanging in. Some deep and meaningful philosophies coming your way. Can you tell us about what happened to you that caused you to convert to Christianity in 1974?
Yeah, it was a long process that there was there were a couple of dramatic moments, maybe, but mostly it was just a process that took place over a few years. It included getting together with the woman who became my first wife, Kitty, and she had grown up in a very kind of liberal minded household and by way of adolescent rebellion became kind of hardcore Baptist and then moved on from that. But she had a background in kind of biblical stuff that I didn’t have. And we’d have these long discussions about what meant what and what it was all about, really. I discovered sometime in my late teens, not sure when it actually hit but that life includes more than the physical and more than the stuff that can be reduced to our own electrochemical processes.
There’s a bigger picture there and it seemed worthwhile to try to understand how one is supposed to relate to that bigger picture. And so that was the start of it. And I flirted with the occult and various other angles of approach to it and eventually kind of was drawn into the Christian point of view. And the writings of C. S.
Lewis were influential in a big way and just a lot of stuff conspired. But if there’s a single moment I didn’t identify as a Christian when I got married to Kitty I was an interested party, as it were and we had a church wedding at her insistence. I didn’t really care, but I thought, okay, we’re going to be in a church. Let’s pick a church that looks really medieval. Because I was fascinated with all things medieval back then.
So it’s got pointy stained glass windows and whatnot. And it was an Anglican church. The wedding was very small. It was just our two sets of parents and my two brothers and her sister and her husband and the priest. So we’re on the altar, my brother’s there with the rings and the time came to do for him to hand me the ring.
And I became aware it’s in the middle of the ceremony but there was somebody else there. Somebody was standing there with us. I couldn’t see it or it there was a presence that was warm. It felt like it emanated light, except there was nothing to see. But it just had this feeling.
And I thought, well, I’m in a Christian church. That’s got to be Jesus. Who else would it be? Wow. So I didn’t fall in my face and become a Christian on the spot.
But it really kicked me down the road in a pretty big way because it was shocking in this very benign way. If it’s possible to be shocked and not recoil from the shock it’s like it was totally positive. But it was very unexpected. And that’s kind of, you could say, the beginning of it, I guess. Above the dark town after the sun shut down two vapor trails cross the sky catching the days last so goodbye black skyline richest velvet something is shining go better of glory curses the crowd this person about who know details are known.
Each one alone. Yeah. Not alone. Behind the pain, fear etched on the faces something is shining. Go better.
Glory rulers. Glory.
Did your writing then change as a result of that? In some ways it did, yeah. And certainly my Jewish manager’s ability to promote me was challenged. He rose to the occasion extremely well, but little thing he had to get over. But when I started going around telling people I was a Christian, that became annoying after a while, too, to me, because I was being called a Christian artist.
And this was in the days when the Christian pop scene was really just forming and I was sort of lumped in with this general trend that was going on. I didn’t feel like I was part of it and I didn’t want to be part of it. I respect it, people want to do that, that’s fine. But I had lots of things to sing about that were not specifically Christian. And I still do.
Of course. I never really wanted to be in anybody’s tribe. It was at the end of that decade when your most popular were the biggest selling hits that you’ve had came about and that was Wondering Where The Lions Are. That was very different to all the stuff that you’d been doing till then, wasn’t it? That album, Dancing in the Dragon jaws was a little different.
I mean, if you listen to all those albums, I don’t know anyone has the patience for that. But if you were to go through all the 70s albums, you could hear it coming. What do you mean by that? I mean, that album is a kind of crystallization of a lot of strains that were developing through the 70s. There’s other, like, In The Falling Dark, they’re sort of in the middle of that decade is a sort of precursor to that.
It’s got sort of the jazzy elements and it’s got a bunch of guitar playing and the spiritual content is evident there, for example. So eventually, along comes dancing in the dragon’s jaws. And when I wrote Wondering Where The Lines Are, the music part of it was kind of a conscious attempt at folk reggae or something. You don’t hear that when I play it solo because I’m finger picking and it sounds like finger picking. But when we recorded it and at the time I was listening to a lot of reggae stuff through the second part of the 70s along with punk and some other kinds of music.
But the reggae thing, I thought, I don’t want to be a white guy trying to imitate Jamaicans. So luckily for me, a guy that was tour managing me at the time, stuart Ravenhill, was very connected to the Toronto Jamaican community. And there was an artist named LeBron Sibils who had been a Jamaican group, if people are familiar with the old original reggae stuffy, who’s in a group called The Mighty Diamonds, and he had moved to Toronto along with 100,000 or so other Jamaicans, and he had a band. So we got his rhythm section to play on that well, we got his drummer, actually drummer. And the bass player, Leeway, sings some harmonies on it.
And so they played on that track, and it gave it that feel that we wouldn’t have gotten any other way. It was wonderful, actually, with suns up looks okay. The world survives into another day. And I’m thinking about eternity. I’m connect.
They got a hold of me.
Had another dream about alliance at the dark. They weren’t ever frightening as they were before, but think about eternity. I’m gonna exfoliate me off when the trees waves coming through you being me and I’ll be in you together in eternity. Some kind of exiga hold on me up among the furs where it smells so sweeter down in the valley where the river used to be I got my mind on eternity some kind of extra guy hold on me and I’m wondering where the lions are I’m wondering where the lions are the lions are the lions I want the weather the. Drum fill that starts the song is it’s the most eccentric, bizarre little statement and it was at the time.
I just remember hearing the drummer’s name was Ben Bo, and when he played that, I was just laughing. This is the greatest great story. Thanks for sharing. It was really your performance on Saturday Night Live that broke you through to a US audience with that song. How does it feel being a Canadian trying to break into the US market?
Because as far as I can tell, you’re always outside it. You’ve got to work twice as hard to get into the US market and get accepted there. Was that the case for you? Yes and no. There was a precedent.
And at the time when I first started recording, joni Mitchell had gone to the States. Neil Young had gone to the States. It was the normal thing to do for Canadian artists. There was no really functioning Canadian music scene at the time. There was in the coffee houses.
But in terms of getting a record around the record companies, the major labels that existed in Canada were only there to market American product primarily without having duty. So they had manufacturing and distribution, but they didn’t have any kind of ANR function to speak of. So the general trend was for Canadian artists to go to the States and become known there first and then come back to Canada as a big star or whatever, or not. But I didn’t want to do that. And a number of other artists at the time felt that that was an ass backers way to have to do things.
I elected to stay in Canada until I had a national situation going there and then think about other countries, and that’s how we did it. So Wondering Where the Lions Are happened to it was the first national hit that I had in Canada. I’d had regional radio play of other songs. I was pretty much on the radar. But that one became kind of national hit and, as you said, spilled over into the States.
So all of a sudden we could tour in the States. And it wasn’t something that I ever really pursued. I mean, I live in the States now for about the last dozen years or so.
Never get stop and open your eyes one day fall by the beauty of it all touching with vibrate never like late spirit open to the trusty grave never a breath you can afford to wait in a dangerous time well, dangerous.
How did life change for you in the 80s when the music changed and you’d split up from your first wife, Kitty? Your music kind of changed along with all of that, didn’t it? Well, I moved to the city. I grew up in the city, in the city of Ottawa. It’s one dimensional culturally because everybody has the same job, more or less.
Everybody’s a civil servant, or at least especially then. It’s a bit different now. But there was an active music scene. There was all these middle class kids that had nothing to do except get interested in music, and a lot of us did. But one of the features of growing up in Ottawa was that nature was very close by.
So in half an hour you could be out of the city and be somewhere else. And I had a lot of experience with canoeing in the woods, in uncivilized areas as a kid and I learned great appreciation for the world the way it was made or as close as we can get to it. And that informed a lot of what I was writing through. The nature imagery became a kind of metaphor for the spiritual road that I was on. But when I split up with Kitty, it was like it shocked me.
I hadn’t expected that to happen. We swore in the wedding ceremony to be together forever, for better or worse, forever and ever, all men. So it’s like, well, it was the right thing to do. It was Kitty who initiated it, but she made the right move, which I understood at the time too, but it was painful and it was just dislocating, disorienting. And I thought, okay, well, in the middle of all this kind of emotional suit was the notion that it was time to embrace human society instead of regarding it as this sort of necessary evil that I was stuck with.
So I moved to Toronto and I got into the downtown scene and the music changed because of that. Partly partly because I was tired of doing the same old thing. Rainforest mist and mystery teleon green.
Facing the bottom climate control center for the world ancient cord coexistence hacked by parasitic greedhead scam.
From Sarawak to Amazonas, costa. Rica to Main GBC hills cortez rhythm of Falling Timber what kind of currency. Grows in these new deserts, these brand new floodplains?
If the trees falls in the forest.
There’S a thing that happens if you’re an acoustic artist and you start having a band and the band gets louder. First you just have a percussionist and then you get a drummer. And once you get a drummer, the need to start playing electric guitar, which I had done before I became a solo me. I was the guitar player in a bunch of different bands. I had the experience, so I wanted to get louder and more electric.
And rhythm became a bigger part of things and urban imagery became more prevalent in the songs. And it starts to show up on the Humans album, which was the one after the one with Wonder where the lines are on it. And then it really comes to the fore in inner city front, which is the album after that. Galaxy.
The gift of the Lord. Like your intro charge against made it a curse for so many to be born.
This is my trouble. These were my father. How am I supposed to feel? Way out on the rim of the broken wind?
The conscious effort to move away from his past style saw Bruce lose some fans. But he did become exposed to a wider audience as a result and started to have an even greater impact. We’ll be back in just a SEC. This is a breath of fresh air with Sandy Kaye It’s a beautiful day.
Welcome back. We’re chatting with Canadian folk rock singer songwriter Bruce Cockburn, whose outlook and musical style expanded hugely as the 80s kicked in. At the end of the ended up moving to a farm, to a horse farm, actually, outside of Toronto. And the pendulum started swinging back the other way. What an incredible life you’ve lived briscoe vert all your different phases but the one thing that’s been there consistently is your incredible interest in helping aid organizations.
Yeah, that has waxed and waned over the years and comes and goes, depending on what’s going on in my life in general. But, yes, I’ve had that interest from the early days, I think partly as a result of the moral point of view that I was given as a kid growing up and partly circumstantially to some extent. Well, I remember the first time I got an actual money for something. It was probably a royalty check or something based on the first album. But I was shocked.
All of a sudden I had all this money. And it was an obscene amount of money compared to what I was used to because one of the bands, the first significant band that I was in in the was living on a draw of $10 a week. So all of a sudden I had all this money, right, and I gave half of it away. It was like, I got to do something. I can’t just keep this.
It’s got to be has to go somewhere. You gave it to a charity? I gave it to. A charity. And the charity happened to be it was one that I trusted because the woman who had created the charity and ran it personally was a friend of mine and then mother in law.
So because of the connection there, I got more involved in an ongoing way with that organization. And then traveling in western Canada, I became acquainted with aboriginal people who I had not previously known anything about, really. I mean, I didn’t know what it was like to be a peer of mine who had grown up with that background. And that opened up a whole other area of concern. Like, how do you find justice in all of that?
And what is the position of me as a beneficiary of the system as it had been and as it continues to be? I’m sipping Florida Canyon Lime juice it’s three A blow a fruit fly off the rim of my glass the radios playing Super Chuck and the friends of Dean Martinez bike tires whacking the potholes milling humans shivering energy glow fusing the spaces between them with barthropace and laughter what would I do?
What would I do different?
Unless it was champagne with you can. You tell me a little bit about if I had a rocket launcher? Yeah, that was the next biggest airplane song in in North America, at least. After wondering where the lines are. That was a fact that I wasn’t prepared for at all.
But it came out of a trip to Central America in 1983. Actually, it was interesting because I went to Central America that winter and then in the fall, I went to Chile to pinochet Chile for a week as part of a Canadian delegation to a sort of human rights ish situation. And then I went to Australia. So there’s a lot of interesting travel that year. But the first trip to Central America was really an eye opener and very moving.
I think it’s sort of a cliche, but the first encounter with anything that’s going to really affect you emotionally is usually the most intense thing. So the first time you fall in love with somebody, the first time you see a refugee camp, for instance, up close it looks like what you see on TV, but it doesn’t smell like it and it doesn’t feel like it. Three of us rented a car and drove into the area. In the state of Chaplas where the refugee camps were. The Mexican authorities were not allowing anybody into the camps.
UN wasn’t allowed in. It was a whole thing. How did you get yeah, basically we just hired a guy to fly us into the camps. There were no roads. We drove to the smallest town close by and we got this guy.
We’re taxiing down this grassy field to take off, sitting on big sacks of rice and whatever that he was delivering to the local ranches and the dashboard of the plane, where there would normally be all the communications gear and everything and the navigation gear, it just had a little am radios taped to the dashboard. No devices of any other sort. And he’s going, you know, I never took a flying lesson, and now I own my own airline.
He was hoping to scare us, I guess, but it but he was a good pilot. He, you know, wow. Did he did you get scared you. Might not really, no. I mean, because he had to be joking.
You know, he was into humor. He was telling the truth. It wasn’t he wasn’t exaggerating, but he had hung around airfields, you know, as a kid, and and and learned how to fly properly. Anyway, he flew us into this camp. It was just large numbers of people, of of Mayan people who had fled Guatemala, and they were without food, were living on a rational three tortillas a day.
They had water, but the only medications and anything else they had were what came in the six suitcase cases of stuff we brought with us from Mexico City. So we’re hearing the stories from the people of what they had fled from, which were horrendous stories of atrocities, and you could hear helicopters patrolling the border, and we knew that, in fact, it had happened the week before we were there. The helicopters would occasionally kind of swing north and shoot up the camps just for fun. So at the time, I’m hearing these stories, and I’m hearing the sound, and I’m thinking, people in those helicopters can’t claim humanity to be human. And that’s where the song came from, as I don’t know.
Here comes the helicopter second time today everybody scatters and hopes it goes away how many kids they’ve murdered only God can say if I had a rocket launcher if I had a rocket launcher if I had a rocket launcher I’d make somebody pay.
Let’S just jump forward a little bit. How was it for you to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame by Gordon Lightfoot and environmentalist David Suzuki? What a pair. Yeah, it was a nice experience, actually, and embarrassing by definition, in a way, but I have great respect and admiration for both those guys. Actually, it was frightening now that I’m just kind of kind of going back to it in my mind, because I had to make an actual speech.
It wasn’t like just getting up and saying thank you. When you get an award, you can kind of get away with a pretty minimal response as long as being positive, and, you know, but this I had to actually make a speech on national TV, and I was terrified. I actually developed a heart arrhythmia from that that has never gone away. It’s the most stressed I’ve ever been in my life, and that counts, being in war zones along with other things. But it worked with hindsight, it was a really great event.
Amazing. All those people watching you would have never had a clue that you’d been nervous about that at all. You pulled it off brilliantly. So, 9 million album sales later, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, a winner of Folk Alliances, people’s Voice Award and 13 Juno Awards from more than 30 nominations. You could have never imagined a career to go in that direction when you set out, I’m sure.
And then now you have a release, the album’s called Rarities and you’re bringing it out digitally. You always stay on par with what’s going on in the world. So what’s behind the decision to just release it digitally, Bruce? Well, just to put it in perspective, we have a new album that we’ve just finished recording and there’ll likely be a digital version of that, too. But the Rarity’s album isn’t going to be something that the masses are going to chase down, so it didn’t make sense to get involved in the physical manufacturing and all that goes with that.
It was part of a box set that we put together when my book came out. That’s old demos and songs that were recorded for tribute albums of various kinds that aren’t my albums and kind of a hodgepodge of things, some of which have been released but never got around very much, and some of which were just demos that never saw the light of day. It’s a beautiful album. Do you have a favorite track? I really like the version we did of the Mississippi Chic song.
Honey, babe, let the deal go down I just think that’s such a happy kind of record. Honey, babe, please let the deal go down honey, babe, please let the deal go down we can get the money walk on down through town I’m a stranger to you and you’re a stranger to me I’m a stranger to you and you’re a stranger to me if you’d be my babe how happy I. Would be Bruce Cockburn’s latest release is his 27th Studio LP. It’s called Osano moon busy. Can you believe vinyl’s made such a comeback?
Yeah, I like it, actually. I’m not picky about the sound quality of vinyl versus CDs. There is a difference, but not enough of difference to matter to me. But I like the tactile thing, I like the big disc and I like the big cover with lots of information on it and big graphics. It’s just there’s something really satisfying about that.
Yeah. Bruce Cockburn, thank you so much for your time with me today. Final question, have you finally got used to being the frontman?
Well, I don’t take anything for granted, but, yeah, I like getting to perform the songs in front of people at this point. Yes, I do. Anything left on your bucket list or have you ticked all the boxes? Bucket list to me, is kind of the same thing as plans. It’s never been much of a thing for me.
I mean, I hope to just keep going as long as I can and see where it takes me next. Bruce Cockburn. An absolute pleasure chatting with you. Thanks for being so generous with your time. Nice to talk to you, Sam.
Thank you. Bye bye. Bruce has certainly been on a roll, hasn’t he? And speaking of that, here’s the track called Honor Roll from his latest album, Osun O Moon.
Hall of anger, hall of greed here comes the heat, there’s no relief social behavior beyond belief throw the punches, drop that ball commit to nothing excuse it all here comes the future, here comes the fall time take his toes. But in my soul I’m on a roll. Time take it all. But in my soul I want to fix you with a stare finality is hard to bear continue breathing everywhere eat what’s before you pay the bill there goes your bone house right down that hill time waits for no, I never will. Time takes his toe, but in my soul I’m on a roll.
Dark takes his toe, but in my soul I’m on a road.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from Bruce Cockburn, who’s still in the midst of an illustrious career. Shaped by politics, spirituality and musical diversity, Bruce Cockburn remains deeply respected for his activism today. And as you’ve heard on each of his albums, he manages to capture the joy, the pain, fear and faith of human experience in song. Thanks for being here with me today. I hope you’ll join me again same time next week when we catch up with either Joey Mollen from Badfinger or Little Feet’s, Bill Payne.
Want to tell me who you’d like to hear from? Just send me a message through the website, A Au. And check out the podcast too, for all the back episodes. Have fun. Till we meet again.
Bye now. Till the full day. You’ve been listening to a breath of fresh Air with Sandy Kaye Beautiful day.
That’s a beautiful day.