Cowboy Junkies Plot New Album, Tour

Two years after the Cowboy Junkies' last studio effort "At The End of Paths Taken," guitarist Michael Timmins tells Billboard.com the Canadian band is hoping to have a new album out in late 2009 or early 2010.

"Right now we're just touring constantly, as we always do, and working on new songs for a new record," Timmins says. "The songs are there, it's just when we get around to completely finishing it. To us, the pluses of making a record are just mysterious. We sort of build up the songs, play them live quite a bit and then we kind of figure out how we want to approach them in the studio. And we either approach them very slowly or very quickly, depending just on circumstance and how the songs are coming about."

With a nine-date spring tour due to begin March 26 in Rochester, NY (German House Theater), the Cowboy Junkies -- Timmins, Margo Timmins (vocals), Peter Timmins (drums) and Alan Anton (bass) -- are road-testing a few new songs, including "Angels in the Wilderness," "The Confession of Georgie E" and "Fairytale."

"They all sound like the Cowboy Junkies," Timmins laughs. "I don't know, they're changing. With road-testing songs, you push them in a direction and then pull them back and then push them in another direction. Some of these songs I've just been playing me and Margo on acoustic guitar, and then we play them with a full band, so it's hard to know where they're going to end up."

Something else happening in the Cowboy Junkies' not-so-distance future is its new and improved Web site from its own label Latent Recordings. The idea is to turn it into a one-stop shopping site for all things Cowboy Junkies and beyond.

"We're about to launch it hopefully in the next month and it's going to be not only for us but also for a lot of bands in Toronto that we're working with and producing," Timmins says. "It's going to have lots of downloading capabilities, so that's sort of our next phase in trying to figure out how the music business works."

Still undetermined is how the Cowboy Junkies's new CD will be released stateside. But the new buyer-friendly website may be a factor in that decision.

"We're not sure there is any need to get another middle person involved," Timmins says. "We're trying to figure that out right now.
For the states, my feeling now at this point, it probably makes more sense to do a straight distribution deal rather than doing a license deal, but we haven't made a decision on that."