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May 2014
more... CDArtistsAlbum ReviewAcousticAcousticReviewsFingerstyleAcousticApril 2011Bruce Cockburn

CD Review: Bruce Cockburn - "Small Source of Comfort"

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CD Review: Bruce Cockburn - "Small Source of Comfort"
Bruce Cockburn
Small Source of Comfort
True North


Fans of Bruce Cockburn’s extraordinary acoustic fingerpicking will be thrilled with Small Source of Comfort, his 31st studio album. Cockburn’s shimmering arpeggios, syncopated riffs, and hypnotic single-note lines blend elements of Mississippi John Hurt, Jerry Garcia, Leo Kottke, and Brazilian greats Luiz Bonfa and Oscar Castro- Neves, yet remain entirely his own. Of the album’s 12 tunes, five are instrumentals, so there’s plenty of crisp, ringing fretwork to keep guitar aficionados happy. Yet Cockburn’s poetic—and passionately political—lyrics and burnished, world-wise vocals take center stage, supported by earthy, clattering percussion, dub-thick bass, and occasional jangling resonator slide guitar (ably played by producer Colin Linden). Jenny Scheinman’s soaring violin adds a sensuous touch to the music, which sounds like it was recorded right in your living room by old friends who truly enjoy rubbing musical shoulders. The Zen meditation bells that periodically chime accentuate the wisdom, sadness, humor, and beauty inherent in Cockburn’s songs and shamanistic playing.

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