Cowboy Junkies -- photo by Chris Buck

Lost Together is a new bi-weekly podcast featuring in-depth musical discussion and debate with special guest contributors and also conversations with artists, producers and music industry professionals. New and classic artists join Matt Wardlaw to share stories and insights regarding their musical process. Stay in touch on Twitter @losttogetherpod.

Today’s edition of the podcast features a conversation with Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies.

The band was here in Cleveland for a show recently promoting their new box set, Notes Falling Slow. The box set is a little different in concept than what you might expect. It’s not a career spanning retrospective, but instead, it’s one that focuses on three specific albums that they released during the 2000s, including the Open album from 2001, One Soul Now from 2004 and their 2007 album At The End Of Paths Taken. All three albums have been remastered and the set comes with a fourth disc of previously unreleased material that was recorded during the sessions for those albums.

Pale Sun Crescent Moon was the first album that I bought from the band in 1993 when it was released and I was blown away by their unique sound and quickly went out and bought the rest of their catalog and as I made my way through the albums like Black Eyed Man, The Caution Horses, Whites Off Earth Now! and of course, The Trinity Session, I began to discover how many interesting layers there were to the band and in particular, they had a knack for turning out really unique cover versions of songs like Neil Young’s “Powderfinger,” Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper,” and of course, their version of “Sweet Jane.”

I was fascinated to learn, pre-internet, that The Trinity Session had been recorded in a church with a single microphone. I had just learned enough about the recording process at that point that I knew that was really impressive, the way they had done it and the sound that they had gotten.

It was really great all of these years later to get a chance to speak with Margo and talk about a variety of subjects, including the ambitious Nomad Series, which found the group releasing four albums in 18 months, including Demons, an album of their versions of songs by singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt. We talk about those albums and about Vic’s music. We also discuss their approach to the covers that they record and how their version of “Sweet Jane” continues to find new ears.

The band recently wrapped up a really short set of U.S. dates and if you didn’t get a chance to catch one of those shows, the good news is that they’ve got more U.S. dates starting on January 21st and 22nd in San Francisco. They’re playing two sets each night, one featuring material from the new box set and then a second set of older favorites. Having seen the show in Cleveland, I can tell you that it was a fantastic time. They’ve got about 10 shows booked right now going into May of next year. Check out their official website to stay in tune with the latest announcements.

I’ll also throw out a quick plug to junkiesfan.com, which has a comprehensive discography rundown that will help you fill out any missing holes in your collection.

Enjoy!

Download or listen to this episode now:

Lost Together with Matt Wardlaw, Episode 4: Margo Timmins