The Cowboy Junkies played a feel-good show Saturday night at Wolf Trap. Front woman Margo Timmins sang with a sultry, powerful voice on slow, moody songs that ranged from heartachy blues accompanied by a quietly wailing harmonica to organ-heavy psychedelic numbers like "Blue Guitar."
Despite the name, the Canadian band's sound doesn't have much in common with country music, but its songs' themes--the sort of heartbreak that comes from being attracted to the wrong kind of person, for example--sure do. The Junkies also have the sort of casual tightness that can only come from playing together for years--over a decade now, and they're a family outfit to boot: Margo Timmins's older brother Michael plays guitar and little brother Peter plays drums.
Timmins shared stories from the road throughout the set, dedicating a song to her mom, who was in the audience, and inviting die-hard fans in the crowd to stick around and chat with her after the show. She said the Junkies had originally scheduled a few dates after the Wolf Trap performance, but decided instead to finish up at the outdoor arena to be sure of ending the tour on a high note. Looks like that plan worked out.
David Wilcox, a sensitive guy who sounded a bit like James Taylor at times, opened the show. He spent as much time introducing his songs as he did performing them, perhaps overestimating the crowd's interest in his addict friends or his opinions on music as therapy. But the songs, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, were generally a good match for the Junkies' music.