Music — Addicted To Cowboy Tunes


by Robert Greene


Sibling Canadians turn in sold-out show at the Palace Theatre

Showing that not all family-based bands break up and that 20 years of playing together makes for an amazing show, the Cowboy Junkies played the Palace Theatre, June 3.

The concert, a benefit for Child and Family Services, raised about $70,000.

“We all have children and families,” said Margo Timmins, lead singer of the Canadian group. “We love Children [sic] and Family Services and the work they do.”

Timmins said she had recently celebrated her 17th year of marriage and could scarcely believe her band had been around for two decades. Timmins’ band largely consists of her brothers Michael, Peter and, returning for this tour, John. Mike Timmins writes most of the group’s original tunes.

For the Palace show, the Cowboy Junkies turned out several songs from the group’s new album, Early 21st Century Blues. The disc includes two Cowboy originals, “December Skies” and “The World Dreams Of,” a couple of traditional songs arranged by the group and several covers. Covers from the album that the band played at the Palace included U2’s “One” and the Bruce Springsteen tunes “Brothers Under the Bridge” and  “You’re Missing.”

“We put this song on the album, well, because I love Bruce Springsteen,” Margo Timmins said. “When I got married I told my husband that if Bruce ever wanted me, that I would be his. And my husband said, ‘OK.’”

After 20 years together, it would be nearly impossible to find a flaw in the siblings’ performance. They were tight, warm and engaged with each other and the audience. Even when doling out chestnuts like their encore of “Sweet Jane,” the group seemed to be enjoying the material.

During a break, Margot Timmins talked about waking up that morning in her hotel, covered with small insect bites.

“Something was sharing my bed last night and it was not a sexy young man,” she said, joking.

Timmins admitted she found life on tour to be draining.

“But then I come here in front of an audience and I know why I do it,” she said.

I sat up in the nosebleed seats, the back row of the highest balcony in the place. The view was great, but the first half of the show was marred by some kind of sound issue. I found the vocals hard to pick out. I wandered downstairs to see if it was better, and it was. The sound for the second half of the show was just fine in both places. I still don’t know what was wrong and then right but the show became much more enjoyable after that.

The Cowboy Junkies have enjoyed a succession of critically acclaimed albums, platinum success, major record labels, media adoration and an international cult following. Select discography includes Open, The Trinity Sessions, Pale Sun/Crescent Moon, Lay it Down, Miles from our Home, One Soul Now and Waltz Across America.   Select songs include “Sweet Jane,” “Misguided Angel,” “Common Disaster,” “River Waltz,” “The Summer of Discontent,” “Blue Moon Revisited” and  “No Long Journey Home.”

The Concerts for the Cause series is a fund-raiser CFS presents each year in the Manchester, Concord and Upper Valley areas to support children and families who are in need. Proceeds from Concerts for the Cause will support child abuse prevention initiatives, family strengthening and preservation programs, runaway and homeless youth services, child advocacy, crisis care for at-risk youth, in-school social work, transitional and independent living services, foster care, services to children with developmental or chronic health concerns, adolescent substance abuse treatment, respite care, adoption services and a summer camp for disadvantaged youth. Visit or call Child and Family Services, 1-800-640-6486 ext. 153.

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