The 89th Academy Awards

Cockburn Makes 'Best Record' With 27th Set

Excerpted from the magazine for

Three decades into his career as a solo singer/songwriter, Bruce Cockburn continues to redefine himself musically on his 27th album, "You've Never Seen Everything."

Scheduled for a June 10 release in North America, "You've Never Seen Everything" is a prime example of the work of a fiercely independent performer. Cockburn is recognized worldwide not only as a quality musician but also as a provocative political activist.

The album is Cockburn's first full-length studio release in four years, since "Breakfast in New Orleans Dinner in Timbuktu," which was issued by True North in Canada and Rykodisc worldwide.

"Who else on their 27th album is still being adventurous and arguably making their best record?" asks Bernie Finkelstein, Cockburn's manager since 1971 and president of True North, which has released all of Cockburn's albums in Canada. "Bruce is not resting on his laurels. He's still pushing the envelope."

Cockburn adds, "A surprising number of people in their 20s and 30s tell me they grew up with my music and that they like it. That's surprising. I couldn't have done more to get away from my parents' music."

In 2001, True North inaugurated a U.S. distribution agreement with Cambridge, Mass.-based Rounder Records. In 2002, True North and Rounder kicked off an extensive relaunch of Cockburn's vast catalog and issued a career compilation album, "Anything Anytime Anywhere: Singles 1979-2002."

To support the album, Cockburn kicks off a two-part North American tour July 2 that runs until Aug. 11 (28 dates), followed by a second leg Oct. 22-Nov. 29 (29 dates). From Sept. 1 through Oct. 7, he will tour Europe.

Recorded in Toronto, Montreal, Nashville, and Los Angeles, "You've Never Seen Everything" is the third album co-produced by Cockburn and his former sideman, guitarist Colin Linden. The album features longtime Cockburn backup players, including violinist Hugh Marsh and drummer Gary Craig. Guests include Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, bassist Larry Taylor, and percussionist Stephen Hodges.

Primarily written during the past three years, the album reflects Cockburn's deepening frustration with a world he sees as off-kilter. Songs like "Tried and Tested," "All Our Dark Tomorrows," and "Trickle Down" represent some of Cockburn's most potent political songs.

"I'm not interested in creating comfort zones with my music," Cockburn explains. "I'm interested in 'real.' There's nothing wrong with comfort, but my personal interest is in trying to get at whatever I perceive to be truth and sharing that with people."

The album was released in Canada by Toronto-based True North Records and will be released in the U.S. by Rounder Records. It will be released June 2 in the U.K. and Europe by Cooking Vinyl. Forthcoming releases are due in Japan by Nippon Columbia and in China by Shanghai Record Co.

Excerpted from the May 24, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Premium Services section.

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