Home Read Albums Of The Week: Bruce Cockburn | O Sun O Moon

Albums Of The Week: Bruce Cockburn | O Sun O Moon

Produced again by Colin Linden and joined by a star-studded lineup, the Canadian folk icon returns to the microphone for the first time in six year on his 35th release.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Time takes its toll,” sings the 77-year-old Bruce Cockburn on the opening song, On A Roll, his 35th album O Sun O Moon. “But in my soul / I’m on a roll.”

Cockburn has enjoyed an illustrious career shaped by politics, spirituality, and musical diversity. His remarkable journey has seen him embrace folk, jazz, rock, and worldbeat styles while earning high praise as a prolific, inspired songwriter and accomplished guitarist. He remains deeply respected for his activism and humanist song lyrics that thread throughout his career. On all his albums Cockburn has deftly captured the joy, pain, fear, and faith of human experience in song.

O Sun O Moon is his first vocal album since 2017’s Bone On Bone. It’s also only the third album Cockburn has released since writing his memoirs (2013’s widely acclaimed Rumours Of Glory), after which he felt creatively spent. He doesn’t feel that way now. A lot has happened in the zeitgeist in the last six years, and the renowned singer-songwriter has plenty to talk about.

Photo by Daniel Keebler.

While he addresses political calamity on Orders, and climate change on To Keep the World We Know (featuring popular Indigenous Canadian artist Susan Aglukark singing in Inuktitut), Cockburn largely focuses on spiritual connections, forgiveness, and love — in ways that perhaps only a performer of his experience can do. Except that Cockburn has always done that, from his 1970 debut onwards.

O Sun O Moon finds Cockburn again being produced by his close friend Colin Linden, who also doubles on guitar. Along with Janice Powers on keyboards and Gary Craig on drums, the album features bassist Viktor Krauss, drummer Chris Brown, accordionist Jeff Taylor, violinist Jenny Scheinman and multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke. Cockburn’s guest vocalists include Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller as well as mellifluous singers Allison Russell, Sarah Jarosz and Ann and Regina McCrary, daughters of gospel great Rev. Samuel McCrary, one of the founders of The Fairfield Four.

Cockburn has won 13 Juno Awards, an induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada, among many other accolades. He has 22 gold and platinum records including a six-times platinum record for his Christmas album. Cockburn continues to tour internationally. He’s on a roll.”