Cowboy Junkies release Demons, the second album in the four-volume Nomad Series via Proper Records on February 14 2011. A collection of songs by the late Vic Chesnutt, the album is described by Michael Timmins as “a labour of love” that explores Chesnutt’s deep and much overlooked catalogue (see track listing below). The album follows the critically acclaimed first volume of the series, Renmin Park, which The Independent on Sunday called “their best album since those Trinity Sessions” and Mojo described as “so charged and inventive, it’s like listening to Beck if he’d been hanging out with Neil Young, Nick Cave and a gentle, plaintive singer from the Beijing Opera.”
The band approached Chesnutt’s music with the same sense of adventure that Chesnutt approached his own recordings. Timmins says, “We let happy accidents happen and tried to invest his songs with the same spirit in which they were written, but at the same time adding our own Northern spin. Exploring his songs and delving deeper and deeper into them has been an intense, moving and joyous experience. I don’t think Vic would have wanted it any other way.”
Demons will be followed by volumes 3 and 4 of the series (Sing in My Meadow and The Wilderness). Fans can follow the progression of the series at: http://latentrecordings.com/cowboyjunkies/
- Wrong Piano
- Flirted With You All My Life
- See You Around
- Betty Lonely
- Square Room
- West of Rome
- Strange Language
- We Hovered With Short Wings
- When the Bottom Fell Out
Demons – Notes from Michael Timmins
Several months later, when our album was released, we invited Vic to join us on a leg of our North American tour. Throughout that tour, we watched Vic every night as he stymied, infuriated, intentionally pissed-off and then subtly disarmed and won over audiences across the US and Canada. There was no secret to his game - just him, his guitar, and his uncanny voice, which could be grating and beautiful in the same breath, and the flat out honesty of his songs.
After that tour we would cross paths occasionally out on the road, or when he came through Toronto, but mainly we kept in touch through his music. Our last get together with Vic was in 2007 when he came to Toronto to help us with our Trinity Revisited project. During the taping of Trinity we had an opportunity to do a bit of playing together and we came up with the idea of doing a Chesnutt/Junkies album, featuring his songs with us as the band. The last time that we talked he said that he was working on a song cycle centered around his childhood in Georgia and maybe it would become the album we would record together. I was on a cell phone in a parking lot outside a gig in Maine and he was in a van driving on the QEW heading to a gig in Toronto. And that was all.
We tried to approach Demons with the same sense of adventure that Vic undertook in all of his projects (or at least that is the way his recordings sound). We let happy accidents happen; we tried to invest his songs with the same spirit and the adventure with which they were written, at the same time investing them with our own Northern spin. Exploring his songs and delving deeper and deeper into them has been an intense, moving and joyous experience. I don’t think Vic would have wanted it any other way.
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