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May 19, 1989 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1989-05-19

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The Michigan Daily

ARTD
Page 9

Junkies and Monkeys: R'n'R Americana

Dearborn's Junk Monkeys kick out
'jams' in the Motor City tradition

Canada's Cowboy Junkies mesmerize
U.S.A. with blend of country, rock roots

BY BRIAN JARVINEN
I'm so glad I'm an American, and I can tell
you why. I'm glad 'cuz of the efforts of bands
like Dearborn's Junk Monkeys. The quartet,
appearing at The Beat next Monday night,
play the essential two guitars, bass, and drum
kit. They have grown up listening to the
same radio stations as the rest of us, absorb-
ing punk, metal, pop, and plenty of straight-.
ahead road-house rock and roll the way God
described it to 'ol Chuck some 35 odd years
ago (but they skip any kind of keyboards,
opting for very occasional sax accompani-
ment instead).
The Junk Monkeys have headlined metro

area bars for a few years now, and in that time
they have accomplished more than most of
their competitors. In 1987 they released a lo-
cal LP, Firehouse, to critical acclaim and
real genuine AOR airplay ("Lost My Faith").
Last fall they gave us another EP, Kick Out
The Jelly, and by this point they had piqued
the interest of several labels. They recently
signed with Metal Blade records, and are set to
release an album of material drawn from their
previous discs later this summer. I would
guess it will contain most of the tracks from
the more unique sounding Jelly, and their
only recorded cover, the Mutants' excellent
See Monkeys, p. 10

BY CHUCK SKARSAUNE
First, the name. Cowboy Junkies. What
kind of name is that? What, 'Addicted to
Westerns'? Let's hear what Cowboy Junkies
founder Michael Timmins says: "...We fig-
ured Cowboy Junkies was a name that would
turn people's heads. They wouldn't know
what the name meant, or what we were about,
and they'd hate it or love it. Either way,
they'd remember it and listen to us."
w Ah, yes, listening. 1988's The Trinity
Session is a mood record, sustaining a haunt-
ing, pensive, quiet feel throughout. It seems
to be a severe backlash reaction to the 80's
post-punk white-noise/feedback frenzied

sounds propagated by Sonic Youth,
Mudhoney, Einstirzende Neubauten, Jesus
and Mary Chain, etc. And this is good; vive
16 difference.
The album mixes country/blues originals
with several carefully chosen covers including
Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could
Cry" and "the best version of 'Sweet Jane'
ever" (says Sweet Lou Reed, the writer
himself). Understated instrumental accompa-
niment (including guitar, bass, and drums, of
course, but also fiddle, harmonica, pedal steel
guitar, mandolin, dobro, and accordion) sup-
ports the voice: Margo Timmins. I could
waste your time talking about her voice, but
See Junkies. D. 10

.. .. .,., r.

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