Rhythm & Views

Cowboy Junkies

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their pivotal second album, The Trinity Session, the Cowboy Junkies returned to the titular scene of the crime, Toronto's Church of the Holy Trinity, to re-record the songs that brought the seminal alt-country band to prominence. This package also includes a DVD containing a dramatically shot film of the proceedings.

The new versions of the tunes are as haunting as the originals, but the production quality resounds with the digital crispness granted by 20 years of advances in technology, and the use of considerably more microphones than the single one they reportedly used in the original session. But the most radical change on Trinity Revisited is the addition of several special guests.

Lead singer Margo Timmins, whose smoky alto has only improved with age, is joined on various tunes by Ryan Adams, Natalie Merchant and Vic Chesnutt. Timmins and Merchant's duet on "Misguided Angel" is a don't-miss moment in which the two singers' styles meld and contrast. Adams' contributions, too, are enjoyable, as he brings momentum and his garrulous style to the bluesy "I Don't Get It" and "200 More Miles." Timmins, Merchant and Adams trade off verses winningly on "Walking After Midnight."

Several of the songs have grown to give the musicians space, especially the atmospheric cover of "Sweet Jane," which clocks in at almost nine minutes. This new version won't replace the original, but it's a pleasing reinterpretation.