“When you’re lovers in a dangerous time…
Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
You’ve got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.”
Bruce Cockburn has enjoyed a career that spans not only decades but also a vast array of genres and styles. He is a songwriter of the highest order, writing songs not only representing the heart but also the societal and political consciousness of a generation of Americans. He tells stories as an observer of the human condition, a traveler with an objective eye on world affairs and the similarities that bind all people. His albums run the gamut from acoustic folk to jazz to electrically infused pop confections. By continually changing, Cockburn parallels the careers of other still-relevant artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen and refuses to be identified with media labels so stifling to his contemporaries.
Cockburn’s first run of albums were acoustically based affairs that began with 1970’s “Bruce Cockburn”. He released a variety of critically acclaimed albums that resulted in success in his native Canada, as well as a US top forty single in 1979, the beautiful ‘Wondering Where the Lions Are’ from “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws”. Like many artists of his generation, Cockburn was able to grow artistically as opposed to insisting on instant pop success. ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time’ was not the hit from “Stealing Fire”, a politically charged travelogue of Cockburn’s trips in Central America released in 1984. That honor went to ‘If I Had A Rocket Launcher’, again reaching the Billboard Hot 100. ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time’ was also a single and had instant hooks, a compellingly defiant lyric and amazing musical displays by both Cockburn and stick player Fergus Marsh. The album is now hailed as a classic, and takes its place among Cockburn classic LPs “Humans” and “You’ve Never Seen Everything”.
While the eighties proved to be a commercially fruitful time for Cockburn, he never compromised his artistic integrity to achieve that success. Like many songwriters, his songs have been covered by scores of artists to great effect. ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time’ was reinterpreted as an acoustic song both by Cockburn himself, as well as by fellow Canadians Barenaked Ladies. With the release of his most recent solo excursion, 2009’s “Slice O’ Life”, Bruce Cockburn once again asserts himself as a musical visionary in blending the best of what American music has to offer.