I first heard The Trinity Sessions about twenty years ago, right when my musical taste was starting to form. I’d never heard anything like it–it was sleepy and ethereal, country and blues or neither or both. Looking back, it’s obviously had lasting influence on the music I’ve chosen to listen to since then. And I’m still a pretty big Cowboy Junkies fan.
They recorded the album in Toronto’s Church of the Holy Trinity with the band circled around a single central microphone. I gather this contributed to its unusual sound. Of course, the album went on to become something of a Canadian classic. Their version of the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane” is still used in movies.
For the twentieth anniversary of The Trinity Sessions, the band–joined by Natalie Merchant, Ryan Adams and Vic Chestnutt (?)–returned to the church to ‘cover’ the original album. They have more microphones this time:
I’ve had a crush on Margo Timmons and Natalie Merchant since I was a teenager, so it’s kind of a thrill to see them sing together.
I’ve always admited the way the Junkies rolled with the changing music industry and their own fortunes. For example,tThey’ve always permitted bootleggers or ‘tapers’ at their concerts. They recently invited one of their ardent fans and tapers to select from the songs he recorded in 2007 for a section of their online store. If you can’t beat ’em, and all that.