THE COWBOYS JUNKIES – THE TRINITY SESSION ALBUM

 

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The Trinity Session Album Cover

The trinity session is a music album released in 1988 by a Canadian alternative country/folk rock band called The Cowboy Junkies. The Trinity Session was recorded in one single day using one stereo microphone (Calrec Ambisonic Microphone) that was recording into a 2-Track R Dat recorder. This was the band’s second album that made them famous and crossed through to the mainstreams in the America. The cowboys Junkies band was formed in 1985 and it made up of three siblings Margo Tammin’s the vocalist, Michael Timmins a songwriter/guitarist, Peter Timmins the drummer and a friend Alan Anton who plays the bass.

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The Calrec Ambisonic/ sound field Microphone

The trinity session album consists of twelve tracks, of which six of the tracks are originals are the other six are Covers from others artists. Below is the track list of the tracks that make up the album.

 Tracks list

  1. Mining Gold – Capella cover from the traditional working man’s folk song.
  2. Misguided Angel (original)
  3. A song for Elvis – Blue moon Revisited – Cover and half written by the band
  4. I Don’t Get It (Original)
  5. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Cover from Hanks Williams
  6. To Love Is to Bury (Original)
  7. 200 More Miles (Original)
  8. Dreaming My Dreams with You – Cover from Allen Reynolds
  9. Sweet Jane – cover from Lou Reed
  10. Working on a Building – Cover from a traditional song
  11. Postcard Blues (Original)
  12. Walking After Midnight – Cover from Patsy Cline

 

The most amazing story of the album that made it different successful from the band’s first album was that it was recorded a complex venue which was inside the Toronto church of holy trinity. You can image the atmospheric feel and the wide, open space that churches have. This gave the entire album a unique sound that the tracks had much ambience and they sound very live to the listeners.

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Inside the Toronto church of holy trinity where the album was recorded

Peter J more the producer of The trinity session used the Ambisonic recording technique (surround sound) where he placed the musicians around the sound field microphone in a circular shape. This technique enabled him to record the full surround sound sources and the ones above and below the listener.

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Musicians set up surround around the one microphone that was used to record the album

SWEET JANE SONG

The track has a repetitive instrumentation pattern that plays throughout the song and only changes in the bridge section where the steel guitar becomes loud and take over the other instruments followed by hi-hats which are raised high in the second half of the bridge. The are settled in the background of the track as the mellow melodic bass that playing the rhythmic section of the track is position in front of the track. Margo Timmins vocals are soft with a sharp whispering sound that allows them to cut through the mix. Michaels steel guitar rumbles in the track and its low-end frequencies are and a bit loud. The overall sound of the track is calm and all instrumentation put the listen in the good mood as the lyrics of the song tells a love story.

 

Reference

Beck, W. B. (2013, August 22). The Trinity session | cowboy junkies. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from POLAR! MAGAZINE, http://www.polarimagazine.com/classicmusic/trinity-session-cowboy-junkies/

Deusner, S. M. (2008, February 22). Cowboy junkies: Trinity revisited. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from Pitchfork, http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/11162-trinity-revisited/

 

Doyle, T. (2015, September). Cowboy junkies ‘sweet Jane’. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from Sound On Sound, http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct15/articles/classic-tracks-1015.htm

FRANCO, M. (2008, February 24). Cowboy junkies: Trinity revisited. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from POPMATTERS, http://www.popmatters.com/review/cowboy-junkies-trinity-revisited/

Jackson, B. (2008, February 1). Cowboy Junkies Go Back to Church. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from MIX Professional Audio & Music Production, http://www.mixonline.com/news/profiles/cowboy-junkies-go-back-church/365949

Pickett, D. (2009). Dr. David Pickett: Ambisonic recording techniques. Retrieved March 19, 2016, from http://www.fugato.com/pickett/ambisonics.shtml

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