Rainy reflections



To say that the Cowboy Junkies’ new record, Open, washes over you is a bit of an understatement. It’s more of a riptide, really. If you let yourself get pulled in, you’re underwater till they’re good and ready to let you up.

The Timmins family rides the unconscious psychological current, conjuring disturbed back-basin washes of emotion — Margo insinuating looking-glass, deep-woods dark imagery and Michael laying on swirls and waves of feedback and a general sonic murk that, though they might seem innocuous at first glance, refuse to let go your gaze.

Let’s face it, when you have titles such as “Dragging Hooks (River Song Trilogy: Part III”) and “Upon Still Waters,” this kind of semitortured metaphor is inevitable. But with the Cowboy Junkies, it’s totally appropriate too. They’ve always been a reflection of rainy-day people, broken hearts, an autumn chill and the passage of time reflected upon with clarity and more than a modicum of subtle, slightly rockish beauty. Stark? Yes. Haunted? Yup. Does Margo Timmins make you think that Alanis, Paula Cole and the rest of the Jenny-come-latelies have all learned a bit at her writerly feet? You betcha. And she still leaves ’em on the banks wondering while she drifts away, afloat on the intimate, delicate, raw passages of brother Michael’s languorous frettery.

Sure, the Junkies stray sometimes from tight, artful storytelling into summer-shed-show wanking turf, but these moments are thankfully few. Deep waters sometimes aren’t still. Sometimes they just look like they are till you jump in.

The Cowboy Junkies perform July 6 at Royal Oak Theatre.

E-mail Chris Handyside at letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.