Well, this ain't your normal Cowboy Junkies album, not by a long shot. Instead it's a rock musical piece, created by the group along with a grand hosts of pals, about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Huh? Well, the 50th anniversary is coming up Nov. 22, and composer/lyricist Scott Garbe had the bright idea. Michael Timmins of the Junkies jumped on board to produce, along with Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson of The Skydiggers. Then they assembled the large crew, arranged it all and have themselves a tight little collection.First off, Junkies junkies, this rocks a lot more than their usual albums, thanks to guests such as Jason Collett, Harlan Pepper, Lee Harvey Osmond (type casting) and ex-Rheostatics Martin Tielli and Dave Clark. Considering the subject matter, it's quite a bouncy disc at times, which reflects the interesting take on JFK murder. All the various plots and schemes of the times are brought into the lyrics, from Castro and Cuba to what Jack Ruby was thinking. Mostly, it looks at the event from different and sometimes unexpected angles. There are three sisters who come to Dallas to get a glimpse of Kennedy, the local cop who was driving in the car when the bullets flew, Osmond himself when he does the deed, and even the President is given a voice, after the killing as he's about to be buried.
It's not a strict narrative, but rather slices and imaginations, which actually works better for the songs. If anything, it feels more like a Skydiggers album, and that's a fine thing, too. There isn't a dull song on it, it's highly listenable, certainly intriguing. When Margo Timmins finally appears, it's a jazzy, spooky, slow number as Jackie Kennedy contemplates it all. Lyrics are included, it's fun to read along, and like all good theatre, it makes you see things differently.