James Jensen: Going back to songs like "Dialogue With the Devil" your playing a
jazzy/bluesy lead on top of a pounding bass, was that independence
hard to master?
BC: Well you take your basic country blues and stick more notes in
it. It did take a long time to get and I am basically an
undisciplined person so I spent quite a while trying to fingerpick
before I actually understood what the thumb had to do to make it
work. At first I had a kind of wishy washy style that was good for a
certain kind of effect like if you wanted alot of flowing arpeggio
stuff it worked but I never could get that rhythm happening. I don't
remember the source of the discovery for me that the thumb had to be
solid for the rhythm but I remember when the Kweskin Jug Band was
happening Jim Kweskin was known as Led Thumb cause he had this
rock-solid thumb thing happening that you almost didn't have to put
something on top of because it would cook so hard. It is still an
ongoing quest to keep the feel going and do other stuff on top and
depending on what your doing quite
-- from an Interview by James Jensen at Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, circa
26 October 1999
"So many people seemed to regard it as important that I thought I had better not and stopped singing it. After 20 years I've come back to it - think I understand it now."
-- from a live performance, 26 October 1999, Wavendon, UK. Submitted by Dave Hefford.
31 October 1999
"This is a song I got totally fed up with for a long time! I wrote it in the
early 70's and from that time played it at almost every concert, till I wasn't
able to perform it anymore. I think I haven't played that one fore almost twenty
years now. But this year I somehow got it back and thought it was good and so
decided to perform it again on this tour."
-- from an intro to the song at a gig in Worpswede, Germany, 31 October 1999. Submitted by Simon Gorler.
9 December 1999
"I started playing this song again because I finally figured out what it
-- From a 9 Dec 1999 gig at the Gothic Theatre, Denver, Colorado, a KBOC Radio sponsored benefit with Tori Amos. Submitted by Paul Leach.
10 March 2000
[Commenting upon the reemergence of this song during his tour in 2000 promoting Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu]
"That came around I suppose because I was ready to hear it in a new way," he explains, in particular the verse that begins: "Sitting on a mountain of ashes/Face to face with past regrets." Those words mean more to a 50-something than a 20-something", he suggests, chuckling.
-- from "25 Albums: Bruce Cockbrun Still Giving It Away," by Tom Groening, Bangor Daily News, March 10, 2000. Submitted by Suzanne Capobianco.
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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.