Cowboy Junkies Look To China

The Cowboy Junkies in Madison, Wis. From left to right are Alan Anton, Margo Timmins, Michael Timmins and Peter Timmins. (AP)
The Cowboy Junkies in Madison, Wis. From left to right are Alan Anton, Margo Timmins, Michael Timmins and Peter Timmins. (AP)

We speak with Michael Timmins and Margo Timmins of  the Cowboy Junkies. The group has just released “Renmin Park,” a new CD based on the time Michael and his family recently spent in China. It includes original material, covers of songs by some of China’s most popular musicians, and Michael’s field recordings of the places he visited. Michael sent us some of the recordings along with his own descriptions. While in China we were boarded in the dormitories of an elementary/middle school. This recording was made outside of one of the English classes. Today's lesson, apparently, is how to order, "a hamburger with cheese". I was amazed at how similar Chinese folk music was to North American folk music. This is a band playing in a local park....with some slight modifications they could easily be performing at a house party in the Appalachians. We were greeted every morning, at around 6am, by the call of the propane seller, motoring through the streets calling out for anyone that needed a refill for their propane tank. Every time we stepped outside our doors we were assailed by young kids who wanted to practice the 4 words of English that they new and wanted to make some sort of contact with these strange looking foreigners.

This program aired on June 22, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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