After touring for several decades, the Cowboy Junkies haven’t lost their roots: keep it simple and focus on the music.
The Toronto folk, rock and country band, famous for songs like “Misguided Angel” and their cover of “Sweet Jane,” will play at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 15 at Strings Music Pavilion.
Margo Timmins, the band’s lead vocalist, explained that over the years the band has developed immense musical ability and greater confidence in their music and lyrics.
“As you get older, you kind of throw away everything that doesn’t matter, like what you wear or what your hair looks like,” she said.
Cowboy Junkies formed in 1985. Timmins brothers Michael and Peter Timmins, along with Alan Anton, had been in punk and other bands before but wanted to try something different, Margo Timmins says .
“My brother Mike always knew I had a melodic voice, because when we were kids I used to sing in the background of Neil Young and stuff or whoever was playing on the turntable,” she said.
After a jam session in Toronto, he finally asked Margo Timmins to join their new band, looking for a different sound after their harsh punk vocals.
“Mike started to hear, ‘There’s something here, this combination.’ What he heard vocally was kind of a nice melodic voice,” Margo Timmins said, “Not a punk voice, but a melody.”
Michael Timmins continues to be the band’s songwriter, and they have been producing music ever since.
“That was the start,” Margo Timmins said. “We became Cowboy Junkies and made a record, and we never stopped.”
Today, Margo Timmins remains the lead singer, Michael Timmins writes the songs and plays guitar, Peter Timmins is on drums and Alan Anton on bass.
For the show at Strings Pavilion on Friday, the band will perform in two acts.
“Our shows consist of two sets, and the first set is usually focused on new material. It’s a shorter set,” she explained. “Then we take a break, and we come back and the second set is all the old ones (songs) that people have come to hear.”
She added that the group has produced a lot of new music throughout the pandemic, which they appreciated to finally have the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience.
“With COVID, we released a lot of music with nowhere to put it, because we weren’t on tour.” said Margo Timmins.
She stressed that the lyrics remain a crucial part of their work.
“It’s not a big light show,” Margo Timmins said. “It’s really just playing, and the lyrics are important to us.
“Words are important to really get into our songs,” she added. “Not necessarily what they meant when you wrote them, but what they mean to you.”
Tickets start at $55 and are available at StringsMusicFestival.com/Events/Cowboy-Junkies2022/
To reach Katy Pickens, call 970-871-4208 or email her at kpickens@SteamboatPilot.com