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-- 5 November 2013 --

2013 Index

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5 November 2013




Nuremberg, Germany

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2013 solo tour

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Review by Peter Gruner from Nurnberger Nachrichten.

The power of good: Songpoet Bruce Cockburn in Nuremberg

A light in the dark: The Canadian guitarist and songwriter Bruce Cockburn wowed a well visited Gutmann in Nuremberg.

Anyone who has ever set out to explore the world of music, will soon find out: it is infinite. When a star burns up, another is born, often one suddenly dips into abundant galaxies of breathtaking beauty, which one has perceived only from the corner of one's eye up until then. In the case of Bruce Cockburn, the reviewer openly admits: The name was common, indeed, but much more than his political commitment and the catchy tune of Lovers In A Dangerous Time did not stick, back in the 80s when youthful attention was stressed by a new sensation almost on a daily basis. Now you sit among the knowing ones, amazed: What a guitarist, what a singer, what a poet, what a mountain of great songs!

Bruce Cockburn has always sung about the wounds, but also about the wonders of this world, sometimes with band, sometimes solo. As an environmentalist, Third World activists and civil rights activist, he has gained some respect. Grim Travellers opens the concert, an old song that outlines the entire spiritual misery and cynicism of modern civilization in eloquent verse. The 68-year-old is rarely ever forgiving: "Trouble with the nations, trouble with relations, where are you gonna go for some illumination?"

Enlightening, however, is still his strong, soulful voice and his incredible, distinctive guitar work, which easily replaces a whole band. With a rhythmically accentuated picking style, open tunings and selectively used sound effects he produced an orchestral sound which is reminiscent of the English guitar sorcerer Richard Thompson, but a sound all of its own: A hypnotic swirl, lending an urgency to political pamphlets such as Stolen Land that has nothing instructive, but without detours touches the emotional mind.

"Sometimes I wish these songs would eventually lose their relevance," says the reluctant, modest bard. That is, it is to be feared, hardly going to happen in his lifetime, but what does he sing in his aforementioned hit? "Got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight."

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