About Cowboy Junkies - An Evening With
The Cowboy Junkies are an alternative country and folk rock band formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1985. The group was formed in 1985 by Alan Anton , Michael Timmins , Peter Timmins and Margo Timmins . The three Timminses are siblings, and Anton worked with Michael Timmins during their first couple of bands. John Timmins was initially a member of the band but left the group before the recording of their first album. The band line-up has never changed since, although they use several guest musicians on many of their albums, including multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird who has performed on every album except the first.
The Junkies' 1986 debut album, produced by Canadian producer Peter Moore, was the blues-inspired Whites Off Earth Now!!, recorded in the family garage using a single ambisonic microphone.
The Junkies gained worldwide fame and recognition with their second album, The Trinity Session, recorded in 1987 at Toronto's Church of the Holy Trinity. Their sound, again using the ambisonic microphone, and their mix of blues, country, folk, rock and jazz earned them both critical attention and a strong fan base. The Los Angeles Times named the recording as one of the ten best albums of 1988.
The Cowboy Junkies have gone on to record a total of sixteen studio albums and five live albums, and remain an active band for over thirty years.
Alan Anton and Michael Timmins, lifelong friends who met in kindergarten, formed their first band in high school. In 1979, influenced by post-punk bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division, they recruited drummer Geoff Railton and singer Liza Dawson-Whisker, and formed Hunger Project in Toronto. They moved to New York City, to Manhattan's Lower East Side and performed at a variety of clubs. In 1981 the Hunger Project embarked on a multi-city tour of the United States in the spring. After that, Hunger Project moved to the United Kingdom, where they toured for three months and released the single "The Same Inside/Assembly" on their independent label, Latent Recordings.
When Hunger Project disbanded, Alan Anton and Michael Timmins remained in London and started an improvisational band named Germinal. The members – Michael Timmins on guitar, Alan Anton on bass, a drummer, and saxophonist, played whatever they wished on their instruments at the same time. Germinal released two LPs . The music newspaper New Musical Express said Germinal "ranks among the most innovative and aggressive sounds to emerge from the independent scene this year." Alan Anton and Michael Timmins had a somewhat different take, saying, "It was the ultimate release for us. But for the audience, it was quite a chore." In London, they developed journeyman skills as musicians, and expanded their knowledge of music history — Michael Timmins worked in a record store for a year to make ends meet while with Germinal. Among those who were to influence Michael Timmins and Alan Anton were jazz musicians Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, along with the sound of early blues musicians Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Bukka White, and Robert Johnson. Germinal broke up after three years in autumn of 1984. Alan Anton moved to Berlin and Michael Timmins returned to New York City.
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