Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jun 15, 2010 at 08:00 PM
ImageIt had been too long since I got a chance to catch the cult classic band, The Cowboy Junkies. That drought ended at the House of Blues in Downtown H-Town recently for this reviewer and his better half Rosie.

The Timmons clan, lead by THE Margo on vocals, Michael on lead guitar, and Peter on drums, slid into their spooky and eerie set with 3 dark and harpy tunes, compliments of Jeff Bird, with the bottom secured bass wise by bad ass Alan Anton. They were in town backing “Renmin Park”, the first of a series, and an album inspired by Michael’s three month stay in China.

Bigger than the new album was the under the radar anniversary of this fine band. Twenty-five years together on the road. Remarkable to me that a band this complete could stay in the “niche catagory following” evidenced by the shamefully small crowd this night in the 4th largest city in the USA. Hell the Junkies even rolled out FREE seating on the HOB floor which is usually General Admission standing. This band cares about the music and their fan’s comfort. No earplugs and I was right there.  Very rare for this venue. I thank my lucky stars that I was on the front row and the only media dude covering this masterpiece led by Margo Timmons.

To say she hypnotizes a crowd is an understatement. By the 3rd tune she was putting on a sultry leg show sitting and purring her smokey vocals. One tune after another rolled with Mr. Michael T and  J.Bird filling the venue with lanquid guitars and mandolins. The title cut of the new CD had a nice sound to it. Everything had a nice sound to it. The Junkies paid tribute to legends by performing gems from Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, and their idol Townes Van Zandt. Margo finds the band’s frequent classification as alt-country baffling and confusing. She dubs their sound as “noise” at times because of its off the wall collage of sounds, which is not a bad thing!

ImageHer candid candor with the audience grew as the show progressed with gems like: “Here’s some new songs. Hope you buy the CD. Because that’s the way it works right?”  Or when thanking the certain someone who FINALLY turned off the NBA Finals on the big screens thru the band’s first 3 songs: “Thanks for doing that. When I saw the game on I almost shit myself!” Me too, Margo.  What a dumb move by the HOB, but she played right thru it like the pro she is.

Why this woman,and the Junkies as a whole, shy away from the camera is beyond me. Once again they made it almost impossible to photograph them, but that’s their choice for sure. They let the music do the talking and with the angelic pipes that Margo exudes it is beyond a pleasant experience. The effortless jamming by Michael intertwined with the crooning of Margo is priceless, along with her subtle “boogie woogie” dance steps she does through out the show.

The encore came way too fast for me, but what a nightcap to this gig!  Margo barked out “Let’s Rock this Roll” and then they ended with “Murder, Tonight, in the Trailer Park” which was mind bending.  I like to call gigs like this an “LG”, as in linger gig. You know the kind of show that leaves you still listening to your collection of CD’s of a particular band weeks after the show passed!  In a word this show = YIKES.  God Bless those who took the time to show up and honor a very fine outfit like the Cowboy Junkies…Peace and CYA around hopefully.