As the second of four releases in their current "Nomad Series", Cowboy Junkies' new January 18 Demons follows up this past year's excellent Remnin Park with this tribute to their late friend, tour mate and musical compatriot Vic Chestnutt. Originally the plan was for the band to back up Chestnutt on a new project, says Junkies founder Michael Timmins, a strategy that was first discussed when Chestnutt guested on the band's 20th anniversary reworking of their classic Trinity album in 2008. Following the death of the the Athens, GA songwriter in 2009, Timmins and the Junkies sketched out the plans for a special commemorative collection of Chestnutt songs and the seeds of the new album were planted.
"We tried to approach Demons with the same sense of adventure that Vic undertook in all of his projects (or at least that is the way his recordings sound)," observes Timmins. "We let happy accidents happen; we tried to invest his songs with the same spirit and the adventure with which they were written, at the same time investing them with our own Northern spin. Exploring his songs and delving deeper and deeper into them has been an intense, moving and joyous experience." From the Crazy Horse-styled distortion of album opener "Wrong Piano" to the wistful desolation of "Square Room" to "West of Rome" -- a song originally pegged as a Junkies cover fifteen years ago but never completed -- Demons brings the Cowboy Junkies trademarked ethereal understatement to Chestnutt's song with love, respect and restraint. A remarkable, inspired collection.
Cowboy Junkies - "Square Room" (from the album Demons)
Cowboy Junkies - "Wrong Piano" (from the album Demons)
Preorder Demons here (with option for digital-only seven-track bonus EP)