Singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn back in Beaver Creek
Beaver Creek, CO Colorado
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” With a wide collection of charged and outspoken hit songs including “Lovers in a Dangerous Time,” “If a Tree Falls” and “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn has left his indelible mark on the fabric of music history. He makes his eagerly anticipated return to the Vilar Center Monday night at 7:30 p.m. He last played to a packed house at the Vilar in the summer of 2006.
With more than 26 albums to his credit, Cockburn is a veteran of the music business. Primarily a folk/rock based singer/songwriter, his music has also encompassed many other styles, including jazz, blues, reggae and other world influences. He is a keen interpreter of his environment, both external and internal. A skilled lyricist and musician, his music is always evolving.
“The whole point of writing songs is to share experiences with people,” says Cockburn, looking back on a career that includes numerous international awards including the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Tenco Award for Lifetime Achievement in Italy, 20 gold and platinum records in Canada and countless concert performances since he released his first solo work in 1970.
Born in Ottawa in 1945, Cockburn set his sights on a career in music after growing up listening to Elvis records. He landed at Berklee College of Music in Boston in the early ’60s.
Cockburn eventually found his voice as a songwriter, drawing upon instinctive spirituality, a keen eye for detail and a wry sense of humor. The 1979 song “Wondering Where The Lions Are” was a national hit in Canada and reached the top 25 on the Billboard charts in America.
The 1984 album “Stealing Fire” was a peak, the centerpiece of what Cockburn now sees as his north-south trilogy, three musically adventurous and politically engaged mid-’80s albums. “Stealing Fire” grew out of Cockburn’s travels in Central America, particularly Nicaragua. “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” was inspired by watching his daughter play with friends in the school yard, and contemplating the frightening world she would grow up in. It also played as a meditation on the dawning reality of AIDS.
But the album’s most significant song was the most painful to write. “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” arose from Cockburn’s experience in a refugee camp just over the Mexican border from war-ravaged Guatemala. The specter of helicopters crossing that border to strafe desperate refugees awakened deep anger, and Cockburn’s honest expression of that anger came very close to a call to arms. The single “If a Tree Falls” put an environmental spin on Cockburn’s rage at global capitalists. Its tough, spoken-word verse and anthemic, sung refrain decry the destruction of the world’s rain forests.
Cockburn’s insightful music has been covered by an incredible array of respected artists including Jerry Garcia, Barenaked Ladies, Jimmy Buffett, Anne Murray, Maria Muldaur, The Rankins, Dan Fogelberg, Holly Near and Chet.
Tickets for Bruce Cockburn are $38, and are available online at http://www.vilarpac.org , by phone at 888-920-ARTS(2787) or in person at the VPAC box office in Beaver Creek. Tickets are available online 24 hours a day; the box office is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with additional hours on performance days.
What: Bruce Cockburn
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
More information: http://www.vilarpac.org or 888-920-ARTS(2787)