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I’ve been listening to Bruce Cockburn’s music for more than 20 years, and no matter how many times I’ve heard them, his songs still move and inspire me. His CDs (well now playlists) accompany me on every long drive to San Francisco and singing along keeps me upbeat and moving forward (instead of falling asleep – it’s a LONG drive!)

The Canadian singer/songwriter has played here in Humboldt just a few times over the years, but it had been a several since we last saw an appearance. But my good friend Greg King, who runs the Siskiyou Land Conservancy, managed to snag Bruce to play here in Arcata as a benefit for his nonprofit.

Bruce has traveled into war zones, and witnessed tragedy, joy and the spaces in between. He sings to share his vision of the havoc wreaked on humanity and mother earth, but he also sings love songs that punch you right in that heart chakra. I’m no musician – to me it’s all about the lyrics –  but even I can enjoy his occasional instrumental composition. And I can tell musical talent when I hear it, even if I can’t tell you why it’s good.

In short, Bruce Cockburn is awesome! I recommend anyone who hasn’t  heard his music to check it out here.

Will the real Bruce Cockburn please step forward

And guess what? He even looks like my husband! (Okay, Bruce is second from the right, he’s pictured here with Tim, Greg – another look-alike – and Tim’s sister Mary.)

When I heard that Greg was bringing Bruce to town, I got the inspiration to profile him in ECONEWS. Bruce is an eco-warrior from way back, and shares this in his music. Outraged at the destruction caused by landmines, he worked with activists for years and eventually 450 countries signed a 2007  international treaty to ban land mines.

So I got to interview my long-time hero. My heart raced a bit when I called him (actually they set it up so he called me, so I had to quell the butterflies while I waited my the phone at the appointed hour, which happened to be noon on St. Patrick’s Day).

What would it be like to talk to someone who I held in such high esteem for so long? Would I stumble over my words and sound like an idiot? Of course, as these things often go, Bruce turned out to be just a regular guy! We spoke for over an hour about and not just about deforestation, desertification and land mines. We touched on war, peace, love and the power of prayer.

I hung up feeling like I’d made a new friend.

Friday night’s show at the Arcata Theatre Lounge rocked my world once again. Got to sit right up front and Bruce played many of my favorites and introduced us to some great new material. He seemed to be enjoying us to, played three encores, ending with the oft-requested “Waiting For A Miracle.”

Best of all we got to meet in person after the show at the reception Greg organized.

I waited for the throngs who clung around him  to disperse before I made my way over to the great man. Again – just like connecting with a thoughtful and inspiring friend.

Greg, Mary, Tim and I ended up closing the place along with Bruce and his roadie/assistant (which I remembered his name!) and walking with them through the early morning darkness.  We parted ways as he readied board the bus, and sleep through the journey to Bend, Oregon where he is playing another show tonight.

Yeah, Bruce Cockburn rocks!