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Rumours of Glory by Bruce Cockburn

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As soon as I heard that Bruce had written his memoir I knew that I had to read it.  I first heard of him and his music in 1984 and have been in awe of his talents ever since.  His songwriting has always been a breath of fresh air in this age where marketing is more important than the product.  Then there is his mastery of the guitar(at this moment I’m listening to Cader Idris – a remarkable acoustic solo)…whenever I see him in concert I inevitably focus on his hands while I lip-sync the lyrics. The last time I saw him in concert was just a week ago and is where my wife purchased the book for me for my birthday.  As you can see from the picture above, Bruce was kind enough to sign it for me. This was the second time I met him, the first was in 1994 at Berklee College of Music backstage after a show with my wife and three kids.  He was gracious enough to have our picture taken with him.  One of the things that jumps out in the book is how he struggled early in his career with relating to his audience because he is not naturally drawn to the spotlight.  He recounts his life in a mostly chronological order, starting with his early home life and in which he punctuates with lyrics from songs written during he period he is describing.  I found his telling of what certain songs were composed for and for who to be most enlightening.  Some of the songs were for specific instances in his life and yet could still be taken in other ways by the listener; that fascinates me to no end.

I’ve known for many years that he was involved in many humanitarian trips to war torn countries and in Rumours he goes into detail about those trips and how they shaped his perception of the world and the good and evil it contains.  His passion and compassion for his fellow humans comes shining through in this memoir as does his Christianity and his search for The Divine.  That aspect of his writing is certainly one that I found refreshing as I identify with his faith in God in a world where many of the religious among us are so intolerant of others to the point where my country is borderline hypocritical.

All in all the book was a balm to my mind and soul and has me feeling a bit more positive about my thoughts on God and the workings of the spirit.  I am glad Bruce took the time to produce a work that had to be hard to do.  He bares his soul and we, the readers can reap the benefits of his struggles and triumphs.  I highly recommend Rumours of Glory.  5 stars

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