Cowboy Junkies ready to roll into Penticton

Cowboy Junkies bassist, Alan Anton, can’t wait to open for John Mellencamp in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 14.

Cowboy Junkies are the opening act for John Mellencamp on the No Better Than This Canadian tour kicking off in Penticton June 14 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Cowboy Junkies are the opening act for John Mellencamp on the No Better Than This Canadian tour kicking off in Penticton June 14 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Bassist for the Cowboy Junkies, Alan Anton, can’t wait to open for John Mellencamp at the South Okanagan Event Centre on June 14.

And not just for the reasons you think.

“I like to take my mountain bike with me everywhere on the road so I am pretty excited about the Mellencamp thing because we will be in B.C. for a bit and Alberta and I can hit some trails I have never tried before,” said Anton. “I have been to the Okanagan for bike and wine tours before and it was great.”

Anton said there might just be time for him to do just that when they head to Penticton to kick off the John Mellencamp No Better Than This tour that will take them on 16 dates right across the country. Mountain biking is just one of the ways he keeps grounded on grueling tour schedules. And, of course, his bandmates in the Cowboy Junkies. The folk-rock band is a Canadian treasure that came together about 27 years ago.

“There is no secret. It’s the desire to keep making music until we feel we don’t want to do that. We have all been music fans since we were kids and we still are. Music has never gone away from our lives,” said Anton.

As a music aficionado, Anton said he has recently taken to collecting vinyl records.

“I’m starting to like the idea of vinyl again. I like the sound of it, the whole tactile thing and the physical thing of putting on a record is kind of neat,” he said.

The Cowboy Junkies, also consisting of vocalist Margo Timmins, guitarist Michael Timmins and drummer Peter Timmins, are a family, even if they don’t all come from the same bloodlines. Anton met Michael in kindergarten and forged a friendship that led to them to form the Cowboy Junkies.

Together the Cowboy Junkies went on to be nominated in 1990 and 1991 for Group of the Year at the Juno Awards and have hit platinum and gold status with their albums. Keeping that family focus is part of why they have stayed together for so long, Anton said. He added it is not on their musical talent alone.

“I keep telling people we are not very good  musicians even though we have been playing awhile. Really we aren’t. We don’t know theory, or anything we just play by feel and we have very limited technical ability. We are just sort of good at what we do,” said Anton. “That has always been our thing, not to become real musicians because we were always afraid it would take away from the sound we get when we sit and play together, which we have always loved.”

Perhaps it is part of the reason why for these 27 years Anton has stuck with his trusty ‘73 Fender Jazz bass with no adjustments.

“I haven’t done a thing to it, ever. I’ve always loved the sound that came out of it and that is it,” said he said.

In March, the Cowboy Junkies released The Wilderness to complete their four album collection called The Nomad Series (Renmin Park, Demons, Sing In My Meadow round out the collection). A book was also released delving into the character, nature and inspiration behind each of them and will include the band’s friend Enrique Martinez Celaya, a Cuban-American artist, whose Nomad paintings helped inspire the series.

Still one of Anton’s favourites to play is Common Disaster off their 1996 Canadian gold album Lay It Down, which is a little more rock than their traditional sound. One of the band’s largest hits was the cover of the Velvet Underground’s Sweet Jane.

The Cowboy Junkies are use to performing in more intimate venues. Anton said  “it’s not really their thing to play arenas,” and that the experience will be “interesting.”

Since the band doesn’t like playing the same set list twice, it is probable the crowd will hear some of their older songs. Other than that, Anton said he is not sure what they will be doing different.

“Wear brighter clothes or something, I don’t know,” Anton joked.

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read