Bruce Cockburn in town

A Bruce Cockburn appearance in Cranbrook is an event. Almost 600 people agreed with that sentiment, packing the Key City Theatre to take in the legendary singer-songwriter and pioneering guitarist and his band on Thursday, August 8.

Cockburn is a gentle, amiable presence, but he had a lot to say on the state of the world and the human soul, and he said it through the powerful poetry of his setlist — spanning the decades of his vast songbook. Songs from 40 years seemed as relevant as the selections from his most recent album Bone on Bone.

READ: How Bruce Cockburn recharged his songwriting

For the most part, he eschewed the crowd pleasing hits that got him so much radio play in past years, though Lovers In A Dangerous Time and Tokyo did open the show, and Peggy’s Kitchen Wall and Wondering Where The Lions Are appeared later in the set. But Cockburn and the band concentrated instead on themes of movement and flight (Silver Wheels, Night Train, Mon Chemin); injustice, values and values gone wrong (Call it Democracy, Stolen Land, Cafe Society), and the search for redemption (Jesus Train, Soul Of A Man).

When You Give It Away and Berlin Tonight comprised “the travelogue portion of the evening,” Cockburn joked, and Three Al Purdys — Cockburn’s tribute to the late Canadian poet — featured a strong spoken word element.

Cockburn’s fiery musicianship was enhanced by the bass playing of John Dymand, the jazzy drumming of Gary Craig, and the multi-instrumentalism of Cockburn’s nephew John Aaron Cockburn on violin, accordion and guitar. The band used electronics to great effect on several songs, giving a shimmering, ethereal sheen to the overall sound.

After an intermission, Cockburn and the band showcased a number (The Bells of Gethsemane) from the upcoming instrumental album Crowing Ignites — heavy on chimes, cymbals, Tibetan singing bowls and percussion underneath Cockburn’s melodic guitar.

The short encore was Soul Of A Man (“Won’t somebody tell me/Answer if you can … / …Tell me what is the soul of a man?), leaving the audience with their heads full of philosophy, poetry and intense music.

Afterwards, Cockburn graciously repaired to the Key City Theatre lobby where an autograph line had formed. A fitting end for his visit to a city full of old friends.

 

Just Posted

Chamber Turkey Drive hits fundraising goal of $50K

Money will be split between Cranbrook Food Bank and Salvation Army Christmas hamper programs

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP say Cranbrook cannabis shop can keep image of Sam Steele

Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

Cops seize load of pot near Salmo

Traffic stop nets hundreds of pounds of cannabis

RCMP investigate Saturday night stabbing in Cranbrook

Cranbrook RCMP are investigating a stabbing incident after being called to the… Continue reading

City seeking feedback for draft five-year plan

Municipal taxes set to increase 2.88 per cent following fall budget dicussions

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by BB gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Chevron’s move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Most Read