Cowboy Junkies | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Cowboy Junkies 

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The name is dumb, the heavy major-label promo for so recondite a band a little suspect; just the same, on their Trinity Sessions LP the Cowboy Junkies have discovered or invented (the unity of their groove is so seamless it doesn't really make any difference which) a cold quiet place where the old mountain fatalism of country music and the bleak minimalism of the most alienated rock and roll feel like the same thing. It's all in the creepy dynamics (derived mostly from the 1969 Velvet Underground Live album), and the songwriting is fairly mundane (save for "200 More Miles," which would be great if it had nothing else but the seething Margo Timmins whispering that "Tulsa burns on the desert floor like a signal fire"); so you wonder how long they can make this last. But for now they create a compelling vision of the strung-out country singer as the real American counterpart to the poetes maudites of Europe. Sunday, 7:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage; 929-5959.

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