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Even Junkies Get the Blues

The band that turned "Sweet Jane" into a lullaby sings about peace.

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On their latest album, Early 21st Century Blues, the Cowboy Junkies cover a bevy of peacenik artists. Songs by Bob Dylan ("License to Kill"), Bruce Springsteen ("Brothers Under the Bridge"), and U2 ("One") are given the Junkies' signature laid-back treatment. "With the climate of the world, this concept seemed right," says guitarist Michael Timmins, one of three siblings in the group and the band's chief songwriter. "We wanted to do an album about what's going on around us, by using other people's words and inspirations."

Two originals by the Junkies also make the CD's mix. "They were written for our last record, but they didn't fit," Timmins says. "But they fit on this album, so we structured the rest of the album around them." The Canadian quartet (which includes Michael's drumming brother, Peter, and singing sister, Margo) celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a live DVD, a tour, and a coffee-table art book inspired by its music. "We're always busy," says Timmins. "Hopefully, we'll have time to wrap up another record soon."
Thu., Oct. 26, 8 p.m.

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