Monday, May 16, 2011

Bruce Cockburn impresses at Berklee Performance Center - Brockton, MA - The Enterprise

Bruce CockburnCover of Bruce CockburnBruce Cockburn's stature as a folk-rock songwriter is well established, but his virtuosity as a guitarist, and skill as an arranger might be under-appreciated, even after all these years.

Saturday night's 110-minute show by Cockburn and his trio at Boston's Berklee Performance Center reaffirmed the fact that the Canadian (and Berklee College of Music graduate) continues to pen interesting, literate lyrics, but also could have served as a primer on the endless ways to reinvigorate guitar-playing, and arranging for small acoustic groups.

That's quite a trick for someone whose indelible songs have been covered from everyone from Jimmy Buffett to Tom Rush to the Barenaked Ladies.

Cockburn's band on this tour consists of himself on an array of (usually) acoustic guitars, Jenny Scheinman on fiddle and mandolin, and Gary Craig on drums and bodhran. To say that just those three filled the auditorium with layers of marvelous music would be an understatement, as Cockburn's intricate finger-picking and rock-edged chording worked amazingly with Scheinman's jazz-inflected support, and Craig's economic-but-visceral foundation.

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