# Sunday, September 29, 2019

BruceCockburn-60Bruce Cockburn sat outside Maurer Hall at Lincoln Square's Old Town School of Folk Music, smiling, chatting, and signing autographs. His sold-out concert had ended almost an hour before, but he patiently waited for each photo request and each expression of gratitude - gratitude for the evening's music and for four decades of recordings. He did not show his 74 years at all. Until he stood up and one noticed a curve in his back that kept him bent over a bit too much and forced him to use a cane beyond a few steps.

Any age-related frailties were conspicuously absent during his nearly 3-hour performance. He sat while playing and singing, but he left his seat between songs to change instruments (he brought four guitars plus a charango - a small South American stringed instrument). But the thing that mostly defies Cockburn's years is his voice, which remains the rich baritone that made him semi-famous half a lifetime ago.

BruceCockburn-71 Cockburn seemed to get stronger as the show progressed. During the first half of his show, he softened up the audience - lulling them into a feeling of comfort; but, after intermission, one could feel the energy increase. From the anger of protest songs like "Call it Democracy" and environmental anthems like "If a Tree Falls" to the uplifting and upbeat "wondering Where the Lions Are" (my favourite Cockburn song), the septuagenarian singer-songwriter kept the energy high.

He was accompanied on stage by a young man that I assume was his son (Bruce introduced him as someone with the same last name), who alternated between guitar and accordion. This helped fill in some of the songs, but one gets the feeling that the elder Cockburn could have carried the show himself.

It was a rare treat to see a legendary performer like Bruce Cockburn, who is still going strong.


Sunday, September 29, 2019 9:31:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)