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Thread: Byrd/Cowboy Junkies EM 200

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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Byrd/Cowboy Junkies EM 200

    I posted this question on the Rock thread w/ no results. I'll try it here.

    There was talk of the Cowboy Junkies/Jeff Bird & their use of the EM 200. I am not really very familiar w/ them, so what CD trax are there w/ the E-Mando? I'd like to check out any trax w/ Mandolin, but the Electric sounds fun.

    Thanx,
    Joe

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    Default Re: Byrd/Cowboy Junkies EM 200

    ? Surely that is their classic 'Pale Sun Crescent Moon'.

    Their first few albums of mine were my favourites:

    1. Caution Horses
    2. Black Eyed Man
    3. Trinity Sessions (not the awful remake 'Trinity Revisited' 20 years later)
    4. Pale Sun Crescent Moon

    I found their style deteriorating by the time they hit Lay It Down. Margo's voice became more shrill and lost her breathy whispering intonation of her early works, and sounded (and looked more like a middle aged housewife in concert with permed hair). As they progressed, they became less folk; less tight, more jazz fusion experimental and rambling. Sometimes this was punctuated by brilliant blues riffs as the guys let rip life. By the time they recorded their album in China, they had completely lost me. I used to love their concerts when they came to England. The poignancy of rare songs like "5 room love song" - a song of bereavement about a man who carries the memory of his deceased wife by studding shells all over the walls of his house until he dies is really heartfelt in its sung delivery and cadence. Well I'm sure they won some other fans, however their later works (especially the poignantly beautiful lyrics, gliding through the purely acoustic 'Caution Horses') never trumped this brilliant handful of purist alt.north.american style authentic folk music captured in these few albums. Pale Sun Crescent Moon is definitely the rockiest of the 4 albums I've listed there - without being meanderingly diffuse like their later works (Nomad; Demon, Open; Wilderness, One Soul now). Their titles of their later works are a clue into how wafflingly diverse they have become. I guess someone will pip up and tell us all how wonderful they have matured; they might have, but their music hasn't. It just turned a corner towards a different, more rock/eclectic formula, rather than opening the edge of the transparently beautiful folk music. Pale Sun Crescent Moon is that exception for me though. Summer of Discontent which followed it, was not too offensive, but rather formulaic rock - with its lurid purple pink digital cover.

    Pale Sun Crescent Moon is one of their more rocked up albums; same year that Nirvana, and grunge rock came into being, everyone else was going louder. So did the Cowboy Junkies with their electric mandolin works.

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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byrd/Cowboy Junkies EM 200

    Well, I don't know about all that. I think you have followed them pretty closely thru the years.
    I barely know much beyond their name & don't intend to dig into deeply.
    Some on the Rock thread talked about their use of the EM 200 Electric Mandolin. I just wanted to know a couple trax, just so I could hear how they use it. That's about it.

    Joe

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    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byrd/Cowboy Junkies EM 200

    On some of their studio tracks it's kinda hard to tell if it's a guitar or the emando, and a lot of the youtube clips focus on Margo, but this is one of my favorite Jeff Bird Junkies' contribution "I Saw Your Shoes". The wah-wah stuff is all Jeff on the EM-200.



    Here's a pro shot of "A Common Disaster," but Jeff gets little screen time.


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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byrd/Cowboy Junkies EM 200

    Thanx, jefflester.

    That kinda confirms what I thought. I never have listen to them, maybe I've heard a snippet here & there, but I never caught the sound of an E-Mando. So when I read the buzz, I thought maybe I should check it out.

    I agree I would not have thought the wah-wah sound would have been a Mandolin. On the other tune, he's barely playing it at all. So, maybe that satisfies my curiosity.

    Joe

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    Default Re: Byrd/Cowboy Junkies EM 200

    Quote Originally Posted by mandopops View Post
    Well, I don't know about all that. I think you have followed them pretty closely thru the years.
    I barely know much beyond their name & don't intend to dig into deeply.
    Some on the Rock thread talked about their use of the EM 200 Electric Mandolin. I just wanted to know a couple trax, just so I could hear how they use it. That's about it.

    Joe
    Ohh...I rarely ever pick out a single track from an artist...something about the album concept gels with me more, so I tend to listen to an album straight through.

    First Recollection from Pale Sun Crescent Moon has a lot of the electric ringing mandolin - it is fairly cranked up as far as Cowboy Junkies goes. I love the lyrics to this:

    http://www.lyricswow.com/cowboy-junk...-recollection/

    I couldn't find a youtube clip but maybr Amazon will allow some sampling.

    Their acoustic mandolin works of Caution Horses is more of that era of Cowboy Junkies which made a fan:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=0etnSOSWl9s

    You can probably pick up its very different from the later works in the previous youtube clips. In this song, Mariners Song, the mandolin weaves in and out of the song, like peaks and troughs, befittingly titled as a ship sails bobbing along in the mariner's song. The arrangements are quite ingeniously woven around the lyrics to form a coherent tapestry of a song - sparse yet incredibly rich.

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    Default Re: Byrd/Cowboy Junkies EM 200

    Just saw them live last night at Freight & Salvage. Jeff Bird rocks! Here's one of my favorite tracks:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMJ6f1-GDdc

    You can't see him playing on this, but you can hear him. Listen for the fuzz.
    Fiddles
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