Bruce Cockburn (International Phonetic Alphabet ; phonetically: "co-burn") Order of Canada (born May 27, 1945) is a Canada folk/rock guitarist and singer/songwriter. He has recorded more than 25 albums, and written songs in styles ranging from folk to jazz-influenced rock to rock and roll.
Cockburn was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and was a student at Broadview and Nepean High School. (He was occasionally seen in the parking lot playing guitar out the side of his van for a few female onlookers, but did not take music classes.) He then attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, a school for would-be professional jazzers and popsters, for three semesters in the mid-'60s before leaving: "I got a lot out of it, but it didn't feel right to continue there." In 1966 he was asked to join an Ottawa band called The Children, which lasted for about a year. In the spring of 1967, he joined the final lineup of the Esquires before moving to Toronto in the summer to form the Flying Circus with former Bobby Kris & The Imperials members Marty Fisher and Gordon MacBain and ex-Tripp member Neil Lillie. The group recorded some material in late 1967 (which remains unreleased) before changing its name to Olivus in the spring of 1968, by which point Lillie (who changed his name to Neil Merryweather) had been replaced by Dennis Pendrith from Livingston's Journey. Olivus opened for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream in April 1968. That summer Cockburn broke up Olivus, intending to go solo but ending up in the band 3's a Crowd with David Wiffen and Richard Patterson, who had played with him in The Children. Cockburn left this band in the spring of 1969 to pursue a solo career.
He had made his first solo appearance at the Mariposa Folk Festival in 1967, and in 1970 he released his first, self-titled, solo album. Cockburn's phenomenal guitar work and songwriting skills won him an enthusiastic following. His early work sparkles with a rural and often nautical image base; biblical metaphors; and delight that whatever happens here on earth, heaven isn't far away. Early in his career he became a devout Christian; many of his albums from the 1970s show evidence of his religious beliefs. His use of Christianity in his music is from such a fresh and personal perspective that it draws in nonbelievers and people from other faiths almost voyeuristically. "I'm certainly not a Christian, but if I were, I'd want to be one like Bruce" is a not uncommon refrain among his listeners.
While Cockburn had been popular in Canada for years, he didn't make a splash in the United States until 1979, with the release of the album Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws, still a landmark of acoustic-based pop featuring intricate lyrics, great sonics, and startling guitar work. "Wondering Where the Lions Are," the first single from that album, became a minor hit in the U.S. (and ultimately a Muzak staple), landing Cockburn on NBC's hit TV show Saturday Night Live.
Through the 1980s Cockburn's songwriting became first more urban, later more global, and then, ultimately and most famously, more politicized: he became heavily involved with progressive causes. His growing political concerns were first hinted at in two astonishing but little-known discs, Humans and The Trouble with Normal. As far as casual radio listeners were concerned, however, these concerns became evident only with Cockburn's second radio hit, in 1984, the song "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" from the Stealing Fire album. He had written the song a year earlier, after visiting Guatemala refugee camps in Mexico that were attacked before and after his visit by Guatemalan military helicopters. His political activism continues to the present: Cockburn has traveled to many countries (from Mozambique to Iraq), played countless benefits, and written many songs on a variety of political subjects ranging from the International Monetary Fund to land mine. His internationalist bent is reflected in the many "world music" touches (reggae, Latin, etc.) found in his music.
In 1991, Intrepid Records released Kick at the Darkness, a tribute album to Cockburn whose title comes from a phrase in his song "Lovers in a Dangerous Time." It features the Barenaked Ladies cover of that song, which proved to be an important element in their early success. This same lyric was referenced by U2 in the song "God Part II" on their CD Rattle and Hum.
In the early 1990s Cockburn teamed up with good friend T-Bone Burnett for two albums, Nothing but a Burning Light and Dart to the Heart. The latter included a song, "Closer to the Light," inspired by the death of songwriter Mark Heard. Cockburn frequently refers to Heard as his favorite songwriter and was one of many artists who paid tribute to Heard on an album and video titled Strong Hand of Love.
In 2002 Cockburn released his first "official" greatest hits collection, Anything Anytime Anywhere: Singles 1979-2002 (although his previously published material had been collected in several albums: Resume, Mummy Dust, and Waiting for a Miracle).
In January 2003 Cockburn finished recording his 27th album, You've Never Seen Everything, which features contributions from Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Sam Phillips (singer), Sarah Harmer, Hugh Marsh, Jonell Mosser, Larry Taylor and Steven Hodges. (Taylor and Hodges are known for their work with Tom Waits).
Cockburn performed a powerful set at the Live 8 Concert in Barrie, Ontario, on July 2, 2005. An instrumental compilation of both new and previously released material, titled Speechless, was released on October 24, 2005. His 29th album, Life Short Call Now, was released on July 18, 2006.
Awards and honors
Cockburn was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1982 and was promoted to Officer in 2002.
On March 5, 2001, during the 30th Annual Juno Awards ceremony, Cockburn was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The Cockburn tribute during the awards telecast from Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, Ontario, included taped testimonials from U2's Bono, Jackson Browne, Cowboy Junkies' Margo Timmins, and Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett. The Barenaked Ladies performed their version of Cockburn's "Lovers in a Dangerous Time." Best Female Artist nominees Jann Arden and Terri Clark also performed "Wondering Where the Lions Are," and double nominee Sarah Harmer performed "Waiting for a Miracle."
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) honored Cockburn by inducting him into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held on October 22, 2002, in Vancouver as part of the Gold Ribbon Awards Gala at the organization's 76th annual convention.
On November 27, 2002, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Life and Times series aired a special feature on Cockburn titled The Life and Times of Bruce Cockburn.
In addition to his highly successful solo career, Cockburn has seen his songs covered by artists as diverse as Barenaked Ladies ("Lovers in a Dangerous Time"), Jimmy Buffett ("Pacing the Cage," "Anything Anytime Anywhere," "Wondering Where the Lions Are" in the movie "Hoot"), Lori Cullen ("Fall"), Anne Murray ("One Day I Walk," "Musical Friends"), Ani DiFranco ("Mama Just Wants to Barrelhouse All Night Long"), and the Jerry Garcia Band ("Waiting for a Miracle"). In addition, jazz guitarist Michael Occhipinti released an album containing jazz arrangements of Cockburn's songs."Creation Dream" by Michael Occhipinti. Cockburn plays on the track "Pacing the Cage" http://michaelocchipinti.com/disc.html.
Cockburn wrote and performed the theme song for the children's television series Franklin (television series). He composed and performed, with Hugh Marsh, the music for the National Film Board of Canada documentary feature Waterwalker (1984), directed by Bill Mason. He also composed two songs for the classic English Canadian film Goin' Down the Road (1970), directed by Donald Shebib.
In 2006, Cockburn's music will be featured in Ecstasy (2006 film) of Irvine Welsh best-selling novel Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance.
The discussion group "Humans" is one of the oldest e-mail list devoted to a specific artist.Humans originated in 1990, and was hosted on various private servers until moving to yahoo groups 2001. The liner notes for Cockburn's album "The Charity of Night" mentions the group.From the liner notes:
"Thanks to the following for support, inspiration, lighting-a-fire-under-the-ass, and other gifts, intentional or not: Sue, Michael O'Connor, Rex Fyles, Sandra Wood and Chude Mondlane, The Maputo Police Department for leaving the various body parts attached, Deminers everwhere, Ani for reminding me what energy is for, John and Matt for the biochemistry, the Humans, Susan Gitlin-Emmer ("Lady of the Northern Light"), the Book of Psalms, Kel and Jon for the introduction to Cormac McCarthy, C. Woodman for her wisdom, the folks at City Stages, God for always keeping the ladder in place." http://cockburnproject.net/albums/thecharityofnight.html
Bruce Cockburn, 1970 High Winds, White Sky*, 1971 Sunwheel Dance, 1971 Night Vision, 1973 Salt, Sun, and Time, 1974 Joy Will Find a Way, 1975 In the Falling Dark*, 1976 Circles in the Stream, 1977 Further Adventures Of*, 1978 Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws*, 1979 Humans*, 1980 Mummy Dust, 1981 Inner City Front*, 1981 The Trouble with Normal*, 1983 Stealing Fire*, 1984 World of Wonders, 1985 Waiting for a Miracle, 1987 (Canadian version is 2 discs, American version is 1) Big Circumstance, 1988 Bruce Cockburn Live*, 1990 Nothing but a Burning Light, 1991 Christmas, 1993 Dart to the Heart, 1994 The Charity of Night, 1996 You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance (live), 1997 Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu, 1999 Anything Anytime Anywhere: Singles 1979-2002, 2002 You've Never Seen Everything, 2003 Speechless, 2005 Life Short Call Now, 2006
* = Reissued with additional tracks 2002-2003
Resume, 1981 "Strong Hand of Love," a track on the Mark Heard tribute albums Strong Hand of Love (1994) and Orphans of God (1996)
from November 24, 2005. (Discusses his view of the world, with personal stories drawn from his own experiences traveling overseas.) Ernest Brown: Pioneer Photographer with original soundtrack by Bruce Cockburn.
Category:Berklee College of Music alumni
Category:Canadian folk guitarists
Category:Canadian folk singers
Category:Canadian male singers
Category:Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees
Category:Officers of the Order of Canada
Category:Fellows of the Royal Conservatory of Music
Category:Juno Award winners
Courtesy of: http://www.wikipedia.org/