Early 21st Century Blues

Cowboy Junkies. <i>Zoe/Latent</i>.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Sure, all Cowboy Junkies albums sound the same—if you’re not paying attention. Because she never breaks a sweat, it’s easy to be lulled by the hushed elegance of Margo Timmins’ voice, but there’s high drama lurking within her mellow tones. Early 21st Century Blues may be the Canadian band’s most compelling work yet, presenting somber observations on humanity’s follies from the likes of Springsteen and Dylan, plus a few originals by brother Michael Timmins, who also injects sneaky-smart guitar riffs. In his “December Skies” Margo murmurs, “Let’s all kill our children and sing about it,” with scary calm; elsewhere, they craft a stirring version of George Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity,” and remove the hot air from U2’s “One” to highlight the beautiful melody.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest