With the March 2012 release of The Wilderness, Cowboy Junkies complete their four album collection, “The Nomad Series” and the ambitious schedule of four new releases over an 18-month period will soon be realized. The latest collection of songs follows the critically acclaimed Renmin Park (2010), Demons (2011) and Sing In My Meadow (2011). Renmin Park was inspired by Timmins’ two-month stay in China and was called “their most ambitious yet” by The Boston Herald. Demons, a collection of songs by the late Vic Chesnutt, was labeled “…a loving tribute” by NPR. Sing In My Meadow was hailed by Metromix as, “showing yet another side of one of the most versatile, underrated bands of the last 25 years.”
“The title, The Wilderness, in some odd way seemed to define what these songs were actually “about”: fragility, emptiness, loneliness, beauty, chance, loss, desperation, the delicate balancing act that makes up a life,” explains Michael Timmins. “They are about being lost in the wilderness of age, the wilderness of parenthood, in the wilderness of just trying to find meaning and substance, happiness and truth in one’s day to day life. They are about standing alone in middle of it all, breathing in the cold still air and wondering.”
Upon the release of the four volumes, plans call for a book that will delve into the character, nature, and inspiration behind each of the albums. It will be published by Whale and Star, the publishing house of the band’s friend Enrique Martinez Celaya, a Cuban-American artist whose “Nomad” paintings helped inspire the series. The four CD’s are available separately, will be released as a box set in April with a bonus disc, and will be included in the upcoming book.
Timmins sums up the band’s motivation for taking on such a massive project quite simply. “The main reason for wanting to do it,” he says, “is that, as we steam through our twenty-fifth year, we feel that we have the energy and inspiration to pull it off!”