“Time takes its toll,” sings the 77-year-old Bruce Cockburn on the opening song, “On A Roll,” from his 35th album, O Sun O Moon, out on May 12 via True North Records. “But in my soul / I’m on a roll.”
Bruce Cockburn has enjoyed an illustrious career shaped by politics, spirituality and musical diversity. His remarkable journey has seen him embrace folk, jazz, rock and worldbeat styles while earning high praise as a prolific, inspired songwriter and accomplished guitarist. He remains deeply respected for his activism and humanist song lyrics that thread throughout his career. On all his albums Bruce has deftly captured the joy, pain, fear and faith of human experience in song.
O Sun O Moon is his first vocal album since 2017’s Bone on Bone. It’s also only the third album Bruce has released since writing his memoirs (2013’s widely acclaimed Rumours of Glory), after which he felt creatively spent. He doesn’t feel that way now. A lot has happened in the zeitgeist in the last six years, and the renowned singer-songwriter has plenty to talk about. While he addresses political calamity on “Orders” and climate change on “To Keep the World We Know” (featuring Susan Aglukark singing in Inuktitut), Bruce largely focuses on spiritual connections, forgiveness, and love — in ways that perhaps only a performer of his experience can do. Except that Bruce has always done that, from his 1970 debut onwards.
O Sun O Moon finds Bruce again working with his close friend, Colin Linden, as producer, who doubles on guitar. Along with Janice Powers on keyboards and Gary Craig on drums, the album features bassist Viktor Krauss, drummer Chris Brown, accordionist Jeff Taylor, violinist Jenny Scheinman and multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke. Bruce’s guest vocalists include Shawn Colvin, Buddy Miller, Allison Russell, Sarah Jarosz and Ann and Regina McCrary, daughters of gospel great Rev. Samuel McCrary, one of the founders of the Fairfield Four.
Bruce Cockburn has won 13 Juno Awards, an induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and is an officer of the Order of Canada. He has 22 gold and platinum records including a six-times platinum record for his Christmas album. He continues to tour internationally.