Submitted by Kevin Loso and Jon Newhard who adds:
As I have never been to a radio taping before I didn't know quite what to
expect. Honestly, I have enjoyed the more straightforward Bruce Cockburn "concerts" that
I have attended in the past more, but this experience was a new one and thus
worth the time to describe.
The show opened with etown hosts Nick and Helen Forster describing what exactly happens at a radio taping and introducing the show. As Nick and Helen were running through their opening monologue. Bruce silently walked on stage and took up position to begin. The audience barely restrained their applause and the hosts quickly introduced him. This for me was definitely a new experience as I am more accustomed to the heated anticipation and thunderous welcome for Mr. Cockburns' appearance on stage.
After a short two songs, Bruce stopped playing and sat down for a brief interview with host Nick Forster. The two spoke on several topics including the 35 year span of Bruce's musical career as well as his visit to Baghdad. Bruce also spoke of the differences in life between America and Canada. The interview finished with Nick asking Bruce about the significance of the new album title as related to the tenuous grip of life in a third world country. I found this comment a bit shallow as the lyrics of the title track are not political at all but just about being lonely. Bruce cleverly skirted around the question by responding with how the song relates to not just politics but also religion, sex and the stupid humour that happens in everyones life every day. Way to go!
Bruce was reintroduced and immediately followed up the interview with Life Short, Call Now after which he segued with the word,s "I played this song for my friend Celia and she said it was the saddest song I've ever heard... So then I played this" with which he beganBeautiful Creatures. At this point the hosts took over again to introduce the show's Echeivement award winner, a Californian who has done wonders for the sustainable farming industry in Nicaragua and then introduced guest artist Brett Dennen who played an enjoyable four song set as well as giving a lengthy interview.
Bruce was introduced yet again and had to kill some time while the crew reset the recording levels. He passed the few minutes by admitting he couldn't tell jokes and breaking out the old "horse walks into a bar" routine, but finally began his closing set with The End Of All Rivers this was definitely the highlight of the show for me as Bruce, Julie and Gary seemed to both bond and jam the best on this song. Towards the end of the song a recording technician whispered in Bruce's ear and they immediately followed with If A Tree Falls after which Bruce invited the crowd to sing along (as he always does) with Wondering Where The Lions Are.
After this the radio hosts thanked their guests as Bruce slowly began playing the chords of Mystery. After the brief thank you, both bands came on stage and finished the song together. All together a most enjoyable show.