Bruce Cockburn to play Charlottetown
DOUG GALLANT SPECIAL TO SALTWIRE
Not long after the release of Bruce Cockburn’s debut album in 1970, the now iconic Canadian singer-songwriter and revered guitarist played Charlottetown for the first time.
Those fortunate enough to see him that night saw a legend in the making, an artist who would go on to release close to 40 albums, earn 13 Juno Awards and be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
And he’s not done yet. Cockburn’s 38th album, “O Sun O Moon,” was released a little more than a week ago to critical acclaim. Touring in support of that album will bring the 78-year-old Cockburn back to Charlottetown Oct. 17 for a concert at Confederation Centre of the Arts.
At an age when many of the artists he started out with no longer tour he shows no sign of slowing down.
Cockburn’s current tour will keep him on the road until May of next year, playing dates across Canada and the U.S., as well as in Italy where he currently has five
shows lined up.
His life at this point can be summed up in the lyrics he wrote for a song on the new record.
“Time takes its toll, but in my soul I’m on a roll.”
Cockburn recorded 12 new originals for “O Sun O Moon” in Nashville with longtime producer Colin Linden at the controls.
While he remains an artist with strongly held beliefs about politics, human rights, the environment and spirituality, the songs on the new record have been described as exuding a newfound simplicity and clarity.
He chose to focus on more spiritual than topical concerns this time around, looking back and taking stock.
“I think it’s a product of age to a certain extent and seeing the approaching horizon,” he said recently. “I think these are exactly the kind of songs that an old guy writes.”
One of the new album’s few explicitly topical numbers, “To Keep The World We Know,” saw him team up with Inuk music star Susan Aglukark, with whom he cowrote the song, to sing about the growing threat of global warming.
Most of the songs strike gentler tones, from the jazz sway of “Push Come to Shove” and the folky drone of “Into the Now” to the stringladen “Us All” and the hymnlike “Colin Went Down to the Water.”
“O Sun O Moon” includes just one song without vocals, “Haiku,” a four-minute showcase of Cockburn’s fleetfingered guitar work. His previous studio recording, 2019’s “Crowing Ignites,” was a collection of all instrumental numbers.