While I was reading Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren (“an Everest among books”), part of the thrill was the chorus of an unseen space troubadour named, oddly enough, Bruce Cockburn. Then, decades later, he reappears in a redemptive novel, The Shack by William P. Young, as the favourite songwriter of a character named God.
The pastoral poetry and guitar expertise of his early work was eclipsed by outspoken lyrical responses to politics, ecology and spirituality which were a life-line to Can-Consciousness throughout the seventies and eighties. Outspoken anthems such as It's Going Down Slow and If I Had A Rocket Launcher brought him honour, notoriety and governmental scrutiny.
His later work has not yielded any hits, but this song, Mystery, from 2006's Life Short Call Now has a determined maturity of vision and mood that magnifies the complex imagery. Ron Sexsmith, Hawksley Workman and Damhnait Doyle contribute mighty passions to the harmony,