Bruce Cockburn

High Winds White Sky

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A remarkably fresh and timeless recording, Bruce Cockburn's second album concentrates far more on roots music than its predecessor. There's the ragtime blues of "Happy Good Morning Blues," the ambitious minor-key troubadour folk of "Love Song," and the slide guitar country of "One Day I Walk" to kick things off. And over the album's original ten songs it just becomes more ambitious. "Golden Serpent Blues," with its poignant and percussive piano lines, is something out of a Western Canadian barrelhouse where the piano player has heard and loved "Lady Madonna." Overall, however, this album -- like Sunwheel Dance that follows it -- presents a far more mystical Cockburn. His tenderness and poetic vision are almost pastoral on these early recordings, something that would get burned off and become hard-bitten (if no less romantic and more dramatic) as his music and social vision grew.

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