Cowboy Junkies to perform Oct. 2 at Kentwood

Michael Timmins has discovered that siblings who play in a band together, stay together. At least that's how it has worked for the Cowboy Junkies, which started in 1985 in Toronto. The Canadian band plays its mix of rock, folk, blues and country at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Kentwood High School Performing Arts Center in Covington.

The Canadian band Cowboy Junkies plays Oct. 2 at the Kentwood High Performing Arts Center.

The Canadian band Cowboy Junkies plays Oct. 2 at the Kentwood High Performing Arts Center.

Michael Timmins has discovered that siblings who play in a band together, stay together.

At least that’s how it has worked for the Cowboy Junkies, which started in 1985 in Toronto. The Canadian band plays its mix of rock, folk, blues and country at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Kentwood High School Performing Arts Center in Covington.

Michael Timmins plays guitar, Peter Timmins is the drummer and Margo Timmins is the lead singer. The band also includes bassist Alan Anton and Jeff Bird, who plays multiple instruments, including the mandolin, fiddle and harmonica.

“Twenty-five years tells us we get along very well,” Timmins said in a phone interview from his home in Toronto. “We have arguments and disputes. Every band has that. But as brothers and a sister, we solve the disputes easier.”

Michael Timmins, 51, didn’t anticipate the Cowboy Junkies would stay together so long.

“We didn’t really think in terms of playing for 25 years,” he said. “We would just think about the next album or the next tour. Then we looked up one day and it’s 25 years later.”

Apparently, time flies for the siblings because they are having fun.

“We enjoy each other as people and we enjoy making music together,” Timmins said. “It’s been fun.”

Timmins believes the closeness among the three siblings has kept the band playing on.

“It’s a funny business being in a band,” he said. “But I think having a brother and a sister is an asset. It has allowed our pursuits to carry on.”

The Cowboy Junkies help keep things interesting for the band and fans by never playing from a set list of songs during tours.

“We change the set list every night,” Timmins said. “It depends on the night and the venue and how we feel the night is going to be.”

With 13 albums, the band has plenty of material to choose from. Fans can expect to hear songs from “The Trinity Session,” their 1988 album that helped spread the popularity of the band outside of Canada, as well as the recently released “Renmin Park.”

The band plays original and cover songs. Several of the cover songs are from artists who influenced the band, including fellow Canadian Neil Young.

“Neil Young was a huge influence,” Timmins said. “I always loved him in my early years and I still do.”

Concerts by the Cowboy Junkies often include Young’s song, “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.”

Other influences included the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Velvet Underground and Lou Reed.

“But a big influence on this band because of our ages was the late 1970s punk scene from Patti Smith to the Sex Pistols to the Cure,” Timmins said. “They really inspired us to get into music. They showed that you don’t have to be professional musicians. You can just start a band.”

Kent is part of a 10-date tour by the Cowboy Junkies that swings through Washington, British Columbia, Oregon and Northern California. The band heads to England and Scotland in November.

“We’ve been doing 10-date tours for the last few years and almost every month,” Timmins said.

The concert kicks off the city of Kent’s 2010-11 Spotlight Series that runs through March.

The Cowboy Junkies are pumped to get out on tour this month.

“It’s always fun to play live,” Timmins said. “You start a band so you can perform. That’s why you do it. The key is playing for people. That’s where you get your rush.”

For more information and to listen to listen to the band’s songs, go to

www.cowboyjunkies.com.

If you go

What: The Cowboy Junkies

When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2

Where: Kentwood High Performing Arts Center

Cost: $30 general, $28 (ages 55 and older), $20 (ages 25 and younger)

Tickets: www.kentarts.com or call 253-856-5051


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