Canadian Icons greet the annual breaking of the ice with new albums.

Bruce Cockburn in performance, 2009

Folk/roots music pillar Bruce Cockburn has announced an extensive North American tour in support of his upcoming 31st album.


The 65-year-old will release "Small Source of Comfort” March 8 before taking it to the people with a full-on border-to-border tour.


(Photo:Bruce Cockburn in performance, 2009)

Kicking off March 24 in Kelowna, B.C.,  Cockburn, violinist Jenny Scheinman and percussionist Gary Craig. wend their musical way through Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec before crossing the line to the delight of Cockburn’s enduring US fan base. Closing night is June 4 in Seattle.


According to a release, the 14-track "Small Source of Comfort" is a primarily acoustic affair blending folk, blues, jazz and rock, as Cockburn has been doing for some time. Inspiration is said to be drawn from the famously itinerant Cockburn’s travels in San Francisco, Brooklyn and war-torn Afghanistan. Given the hair-raising breadth of experiences available between Frsico and Afghanistan, Cockburn’s wordplay on this one should be something to check.


Artwork for Robbie Robertson's upcoming How To Become ClairvoyantArtwork for Robbie Robertson's upcoming How To Become ClairvoyantAlso coming in from the cold with new product. The Band main man Robbie Robertson. How to Become Clairvoyant, due April 5th on 429 Records is his first solo album since 1998. The album’s said to include a tune  "This is Where I Get Off," which digs back to Robertson’s volatile exit from The Band in 1976. If this is so, it’d be the first time the famously reticent Robertson has put his feelings on the subject in a song. 


The album was cut with a slew of high-wattage helpers including guitarists Robert Randolph, Tom Morello and Eric Clapton, who co-wrote three of the album's songs and does his ‘Slowhand’ thing on six of them. Steve Winwood checked in to play with his organ on a pair and Trent Reznor is to be heard elsewhere on the album. .


Anchoring the sessions for all 12 tracks, bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Ian Thomas and Robertson co-produced the album with Marius de Vries.

The album's title track will be featured on the season two soundtrack for the popular HBO television series, True Blood. 


Lenny Stoute