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Wednesday 28 December 2022

200 More Miles

Cowboy Junkies' 1988 album The Trinity Session was one that almost everyone seemed to be listening to when it came out, rave reviews in the NME, Sounds and Melody Maker enough to cut through to the different crowds of the late 80s. Recorded in the Church Of The Holy Trinity in Toronto with the musicians all round a single microphone and with Margo Timmins' vocal coming through the PA system left behind by the previous band to play in the church, the presence and natural reverb of the building is as important as the instruments and Margo's voice. The album was almost recorded in one session with no overdubs (except for Margo adding her a capella chanting for Mining For Gold a week later. As they ran out of time they had to pay the security guard on site an extra $25 to let them stay a little longer and record Misguided Angel). 

The album is one of those perfect moments, a record they were never going to match again no matter what, where and when they recorded. The follow up, 1990's The Caution Horses, had some good songs but was more polished and didn't have the unique, one off beauty of that day/ night in that church in Toronto. This song, 200 More Miles, was inspired by the group's never-ending life on the road. Michael Timmins' scratchy lead guitar and accompanying pedal steel guitar are a joy. 

200 More Miles

The album gained a lot of interest because of the cover of Sweet Jane, but the version from 1974's 1969: Velvet Underground Live rather than the more familiar one from Loaded. Lou Reed is said to have preferred the Cowboy Junkies one to the Velvets' ones and who can fault him? I've posted it before fairly recently so instead offer this, a completely unofficial Mojo Filter re- edit of Cowboy Junkies cover. Your tolerance of it may depend on whether you think the achingly beautiful, spectral 1988 cover version needed an AOR sheen and mid tempo club/ disco drums- I can imagine situations where it could work. 

Sweet Jane (Mojo Filter Re-love)

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