On record: The Trinity Session, by Cowboy Junkies 

Cowboy Junkies released 16 studio albums across their now 32-year career, but you'll be forgiven if you've only heard the most popular one. Recorded in 1987, The Trinity Session is a hallmark in the world of alternative country, an album simultaneously subdued and bursting with loneliness and longing. That album solidified the Junkies' status as alt-country giants, the Canadian siblings who created a damn-near perfect work of art.

The Trinity Session is no clever title. With the exception of the a cappella opening track "Mining for Gold," the entirety of the album was recorded in a single day at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto. It received no overdubs, mixing or mastering—in fact, it was recorded with a single overhead microphone. The church's natural reverb saturates the album in a distinctive air of desperation, like if Julee Cruise recorded a country record.

click to enlarge noise_junkies.jpg

The Timmins siblings wrote originals, and they are undeniably gorgeous, (see tracks "Misguided Angel" and "I Don't Get It"). But their covers of other artists' material are absolutely sublime, particularly their renditions of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane."

Now, still touring on its 2015 Notes Falling Slow box set, the band is making a stop in Missoula for a July 9 performance at the Top Hat. The show has sold out, but if you didn't snag a ticket, you can still throw The Trinity Session on your car stereo and go on a long, solitary nighttime drive. It's how it was meant to be heard.

Cowboy Junkies play the Top Hat Sun., July 9, at 9 PM. Sold out.

This article was updated Thu., July 6, to include the band's box set.
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