Song 17 The Cowboy Junkies

Guest Post!

Still searching for that perfect 80s song, I remembered my friend Marni Amirault. Back in the day she knew every cool band going and had been to see them all at least twice. Who better to ask? Marni obliged, with a great choice from late 1988. Stare off into a smoky prairie sunset and sing along.

The Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane, 1988

Marni writes: My brother in law still calls the Cowboy Junkies a 'lay down and die' band and we hate him for it. Well, maybe hate is a strong word, but all these years later, he is able to elicit the desired effect: pissing my sister and I off. The Junkies are Canadiana at its best: undeniably mellow; placid even; but don't let that define them for you. The smoldering, sultry voice of Margo Timmins, her ethereal stage presence (I saw them live in the late 1980s) and the stories that brother Michael has so expertly woven into song oftentimes pack a wallop straight to the gut that you never, for a minute, saw coming. Haunted and slowed down from the version of 'Sweet Jane' it is derived from (The Velvet Underground Live at Max's Kansas City), Lou Reed himself has called this "the best and most authentic version I've ever heard". How can anyone argue with Lou? The Cowboy Junkies' cover of the Velvet Underground's 'Sweet Jane' is, simply put, perfection.

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