Canadian singer-musician Bruce Cockburn in his recent record albums has been expressing in an attractive way his Christian experience. His music, often described as folk or jazz, shows African, Indian, and other influences. Most of his audience is several years younger than Cockburn, in the twenty to twenty-five-age group: earnest undergraduate types with amazing devotion. Cockburn (pronounced Coe-burn) has been making records for eight years, and his Canadian tours have come to be an anticipated annual event. In his latest three albums and recent tours, Cockburn has been boldly identifying himself as a believer and follower of Jesus.
Bruce Cockburn has the unobtrusive appearance of what one writer called “a fellow in a college library,” or “some eager Whole-Earth cousin.” With wire-rimmed glasses and wiry strawberry moustache and beard, Cockburn has become an important person in a country where, it often seems, straws of national identity are grasped at. A 1976 Canadian article stated that Cockburn “today enjoys a measure of success and professional recognition previously known only to a handful of his contemporaries and never before to one who has chosen to keep his career solely within this country.” Cockburn has made no effort to be known outside of Canada, and once he even broke off relations with a major record company when they asked him to promote his songs elsewhere. This patient refusal to compromise, so typical of many other areas of his career, strikes many people as unnecessary or infuriating. On the other hand, that careful attention to detail has won for him both great respect in his business, and an enthusiastic, consistent, though not too large following. In any case, he ...1
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