Bruce Cockburn - vocals, guitar; Jon Goldsmith - keyboards, vocals; Fergus Marsh - bass; Michael Pouliot - drums; Chi Sharp - percussion
Consisting of only five songs, this powerful showcase set by Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn came shortly after the artist had taken a sabbatical to Nicaragua to perform humanitarian work. While there, he witnessed a brutal civil war where millions of refugees were brutally killed by both rebel and government forces.
This show, recorded at Chicago's Park West theater for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, reflects the stark reality he witnessed, and features some of the best material Cockburn has ever written and recorded. His two most popular radio hits are featured here: the dark mid-tempo rocker "If I Had A Rocket Launcher" and the bouncy "Wondering Where The Lions Are." "Nicaragua" is clearly the most compelling of the songs he performed, and this set is rounded out with two album tracks: "The Trouble With Normal" and "Lovers In A Dangerous Time."
Additional credit should certainly be given to members of his band, who are nothing short of exceptional on this recording. The rhythm section of Fergus Marsh on bass, Michael Pouliot on drums and Chi Sharp on percussion adds enormous musical color to the show.
Cockburn emerged out of the Canadian folk scene with Joni Mitchell and Valdy. He was a devout Christian who often tended to write lyrics with Biblical overtones. During the 1980s, he toned down his Christian viewpoint in an effort to disassociate from the conservative Christian music movement, which was just starting to gain popularity in America and other markets in the world.
Cockburn reach #21 on the Billboard charts with "Wondering Where The Lions Are," during the period when this live show was recorded. His popularity in the U.S. declined sharply after this time period, although he has remained a massive superstar act in his native Canada.