BRUCE COCK­BURN

Australian HIFI - - ON TEST -

Bone On Bone

It’s hard to be a Cock­burn com­pletist— this is his 33rd record, though six years since his last, and mere days be­fore he was in­ducted, long over­due, into the Cana­dian Song­writ­ers Hall of Fame. Aside from a ma­ture gravel catch to his voice, these soul­ful songs could in­habit any of his al­bums back to the 1990s, lyrics in­spired as ever by his love for wide-open spa­ces ex­ter­nally and the spir­i­tual path in­ter­nally, a lit­tle weary fear for the en­vi­ron­ment and po­lit­i­cal in­ac­tion. This al­most en­tirely acous­tic col­lec­tion should trans­fer well to the stage as he re­turns to the road in his 73rd year, with a few barn­storm­ers in Je­sus Train and Caf## So­ci­ety, but the best beauty com­ing from his im­pec­ca­ble folk-blues pick­ing, as in Stab at Mat­ter or 3 Al Purdy’s, aug­mented by trum­pet, har­mon­ica or a rare back­ing vo­cal, as he trans­ports the listener to his wide and beau­ti­ful world.

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