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Cowboy Junkies: Demons: The Nomad Series Volume Two

Sad music for very sad times.

American singer songwriter Vic Chesnutt died on Christmas Day 2009. His life had more than its fair share of tragedy. His songs were personal, honest, funny, and occasionally utterly heartbreaking. After he joined Cowboy Junkies for a guest appearance on Trinity Revisited, they planned to record some of his music. This album is the fruition of those plans, a collection of 11 of Chesnutt’s many and varied songs.

Chesnutt was a prolific writer, and even to fans some of these choices may be unfamiliar.

Wrong Piano, one of the standout tracks on Chesnutt’s best album Is The Actor Happy?, opens the album. It says much about his writing that Cowboy Junkies, noted for their luxuriating and indolent style, turn in a comparatively upbeat version.

The real gem is the languid ethereal blues Betty Lonely, a perfect slice of Americana. Somewhere in Twin Peaks, it plays repeatedly on a 50s jukebox.