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Cowboy Junkies

Canadian musician Michael Timmins and his childhood friend Alan Anton formed a group called Hunger Project in 1979.

It was not successful and, relocating to the UK, they formed an experimental instrumental group, Germinal.

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Returning to Toronto, they joined forces with Timmins’ sister Margo and brother Peter.

As the Cowboy Junkies, they recorded their first album, Whites Off Earth Now! (1986) in a private house.

Their second album, The Trinity Session (1988), was made in a single day with one microphone in the Holy Trinity church in downtown Toronto, for $250.

The band’s spartan, less-is-more sound captivated listeners and, with little publicity, the second album sold 250,000 copies in North America.

cowboyjunkies2The tracks included a curious reinterpretation of Blue Moon, called Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis) and the country standards I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry and Walking After Midnight.

Lou Reed praised their version of his song Sweet Jane and, in 1991, they contributed To Lay Me Down in a tribute to The Grateful DeadDeadicated.

Their 1990 album, The Caution Horses, included several vintage country songs which, true to form, were performed in their whispered, five-miles-per-hour style.