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Bruce Cockburn Up A Rooster Creek

Visual Arts Collective, June 29


There are linguistic slip-ups that will peg you as an outsider. Pronounce Houston Street in New York City like the Texas town and a cabbie will throw you a puzzled glare. Same goes for Canadian folk/rock singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn. His last name is pronounced "Co-burn," and in an interview on, Cockburn explained the etymology:

"It's Scottish, and it actually translates as 'rooster creek' ... as a Scottish name, the c-k in the middle becomes a sort of guttural sound."

Cockburn rose to fame in the 1960s, playing in a variety of bands, including Olivus, which opened for The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream. Over the years, Cockburn's music has turned increasingly political as he visited places like Nicaragua during the Contra War and Mozambique during its civil war.

In 2001, Cockburn was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The ceremony included video testimonials from fans like U2's Bono and Jackson Browne.

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