Cowboy Junkies preparing to conclude four-CD Nomad Series with The Wilderness

The Cowboy Junkies will complete their four-CD Nomad Series this March, capping a remarkably productive 18-month period with the release of The Wilderness.

Preorders start on Feb. 23, as the band hits the road for a U.S. tour. Once all four albums have been released, the band plans to produce a book with details on the concepts and inspirations behind each. It will be published by Whale and Star, whose clients include Enrique Martinez Celaya — the Cuban-American artist whose “Nomad” paintings helped inspire the series. Available separately, the four albums will then be released as a box set in April with a bonus disc. They will also be included in the upcoming book.

“The title, The Wilderness, in some odd way seemed to define what these songs were actually ‘about': fragility, emptiness, loneliness, beauty, chance, loss, desperation, the delicate balancing act that makes up a life,” says Michael Timmins. “They are about being lost in the wilderness of age, the wilderness of parenthood, in the wilderness of just trying to find meaning and substance, happiness and truth in one’s day to day life. They are about standing alone in middle of it all, breathing in the cold still air and wondering.”

The Wilderness concludes a quartet of recordings that began with 2010’s Renmin Park, inspired by a visit to China and called “their most ambitious yet” by The Boston Herald. The Cowboy Junkies followed that up with two 2011 projects: Demons, a collection that NRP called “a loving tribute” to the late Vic Chesnutt; and then Sing In My Meadow, which Metromix said revealed “yet another side of one of the most versatile, underrated bands of the last 25 years.”

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on the Cowboy Junkies. Click through the title for the complete review …

COWBOY JUNKIES, “WRONG PIANO” (2011): First off, this doesn’t start off with any piano, but also not the churchy wistfulness of the Cowboy Junkies’ 1987 breakthrough The Trinity Session. Instead, there is a gnarled electric guitar from Michael Timmins, a mashed-down organ and an updated worldliness in Margo Timmons’ familiar alto. They’re exploring the dark places, and there are many, inside the lyrics of the late collaborator Vic Chesnutt. And the Cowboy Junkies are doing it with their sleeves rolled up.

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Here are the latest announced dates for the Cowboy Junkies’ upcoming American tour:

02/23: Ithaca, NY, State Theatre
02/24: W Long Branch, NJ, Pollak Theatre
02/25: Providence, RI, Fete Ballroom
02/26: Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse
02/28: Annapolis, MD, Rams Head Tavern
02/29: Annapolis, MD, Rams Head Tavern
03/01: Alexandria, VA, Birchmere
03/02: Norfolk, VA, Attucks Theatre
03/03: Charlottesville, VA Jefferson Theater
03/04 Charleston, WV, Mountain Stage
03/07: Harrisburg, PA, Whitaker Center
03/08: Somerville, MA, Somerville Theater
03/09: Glenside, PA, Keswick Theatre
03/10: Westhampton Beach, NY, Performing Arts Center
04/13: Ann Arbor, MI, The Ark

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The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.