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Bruce Cockburn - April in Memphis

A Kurt Swinghammer-created video for this track from the folk legend's upcoming instrumental album masterfully enhances the musical tribute to Martin Luther King.

Bruce Cockburn - April in Memphis

By Kerry Doole

Bruce Cockburn -  April In Memphis  (True North): Crowing Ignites, the all-instrumental new album from Bruce Cockburn, is released on Sept. 20.


A video for this track has just come out, and both audio and visual are masterful. The title is a reference to the assassination of Martin Luther King, and the clip is produced and directed by noted Toronto animator, visual artist, and musician Kurt Swinghammer.

In a label press release, he explains that "creating animation for Bruce’s moving instrumental was an inspiring opportunity to reflect on the loss of the most important spiritual leader of the last century. Fifty years after MLK’s assassination, we still need to hear his message."

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Cockburn says that "the piece came into being on MLK Day 2019. It pretty much formed itself in the course of a practice session. It took the shape of a lament, more than a celebration, which set me to thinking of King’s murder, and the loss of a voice of wisdom, compassion and respect that we could really use about now. Hence the title. 

"I think the video conveys the right sense of the poignant beauty, of the dignity, of the man and the spirituality that fueled him."

That it certainly does, as Swinghammer cleverly integrates footage of King, words from his famed 'I had a dream' speech, and impressionistic images in the clip, while the vibrant colours perfectly complement Cockburn's fluent guitar work.

Cockburn plays an extensive North American tour this fall, including shows in Toronto, London, St. Catharine's, Kingston, Victoria, and Vancouver. Check dates here 

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Publicity: Eric Alper

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