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Cowboy Junkies Revisit Past Glories

Of the Oakland Press

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Revisiting its fabled album “The Trinity Session” started out as just an off-thecuff idea for the Canadian band Cowboy Junkies. But guitarist and chief songwriter Michael Timmins says “Trinity Revisited,” a recreation of the 1988 release that put the group on the music business map, was like re-discovering an old friend.

“I hadn’t been in that (Church of the Holy Trinity) since we walked out of there that night 20 years ago, even though it’s less than a mile from my house,” Timmins, 48, says. “I just didn’t remember it that much.

“When it really came flooding back is when we started to play. I set up my amp, plugged in and — I know this sounds corny — but literally two or three notes in it was, ‘Alright! This place! This place is great!’ It really is an amazing sounding room, and stupidly we’d kind of forgotten that. I mean, that was the whole reason why we called the record ‘The Trinity Session.’ “

Timmins and the band — which includes his sister Margo on vocals — didn’t merely want to copy their original work, however. Some arrangements were altered, while the group was also joined by guests Ryan Adams, Natalie Merchant and Vic Chesnutt, who brought their own flavor to the album.

“It took on a life of its own and became a real challenge,” Timmins explains. “We didn’t want to even pretend to try to re-do it or re-create it. We knew that was impossible and pointless and would be boring to us.

“So we had to figure out a way to make it fresh for ourselves and inject some life into these songs that wasn’t just us going into a church and play them like we play them (in concert). It was a very rewarding project.”

Cowboy Junkies and Mary Gauthier perform at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday (March 21) at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are sold out. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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