Critic's Pick

When Cowboy Junkies first introduced their lazy take on the blues, their somnambulistic approach earned them such nicknames as Quaalude Junkies. The band slowly (how else?) developed a sound that was part country and part languid rock, synthesizing the spirits of Lou Reed and Hank Williams. Sixteen years down the road, the group has compiled an impressive repertoire of illuminating cover songs and stark, confessional originals, all overseen by singer Margo Timmins. Cowboy Junkies' new album, Open, contains no surprise (well, maybe a tinge of feedback), a comfort from a band known for nothing if not consistency.

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