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Bruce Cockburn
-a view from the Woodpile

Bruce Cockburn by Daniel Keebler © 2009 Daniel Keebler
 

The 8x10 inch book contains more than 110 photographs taken at soundchecks and performances from 1994 to 2008. The last series of photographs were taken at a recording session in Seattle in November 2008. The book contains both color and black and white images.

I am pleased to say the book has been released with the cooperation of Bruce and his manager, Bernie Finkelstein. The four page biography was fact-checked and amended by Bruce.

Ottawa radio show host, David Yazbeck, reviews Bruce Cockburn- a view from the Woodpile. David hosts the program Special Blend on Thursdays on Ottawa's CKCU. You can read the review here.

The book is here. It is also avaliable at Apple's iBookstore.

I am publishing the book online through a Print On Demand (POD) publisher called Blurb. While this method is more expensive than the traditional off-set printing procedure, this is the only way I could afford to make the book available. Most of the retail price of the book goes to Blurb for printing. My cut is minimal. I did not set out to make piles of cash off the sale of this book, but rather to share my photos with fans of Bruce Cockburn, hoping it might offer a slightly unique view of him at work. I think this is the first book out there dedicated solely to Bruce.

This is a small project. There are people who might appreciate having the book but may never find it. I have no big advertising campaign. If you want to help spread the word about this book, I would welcome that and be most appreciative. Consider including a link to the book as part of the signature on your emails. If you have Twitter, My Space, Facebook, a blog, a website… a simple link to the book at Blurb would be all that is needed.

The book is available in three options: eBook, paperback, hardback with a dust jacket.

The book is 120 pages long and is ordered from the Blurb website and mailed directly to you. It contains photos from performances, soundchecks, a recording session and a few other locations, between 1994 and 2008. There is a two page introduction, a four page biography (Bruce assisted with the bio), a discography and a few other tour-related graphics.

The fact Bruce supported me on this project means a lot to me personally, but I also think it helps to validate the project in a broader sense. Since I started Gavin’s Woodpile in late 1993, it has been important for me to document Bruce’s work as accurately as I can. By trusting me, Bruce has helped me make that goal a lot easier. For that I am grateful.

My big thanks go to all of you who have supported Gavin’s Woodpile during the years since the first issue (February1994). It is lifting to know you are out there.

Daniel
July 8, 2009

 







Photos by Daniel Keebler

 

Saturday, August 29, 2009
North by East West


Photo Book Review - "Bruce Cockburn - a view from the Woodpile"

by David Yazbeck

Daniel Keebler is a Park Ranger in Washington State - perhaps, from a Canadian's perspective, an unlikely fan of Bruce Cockburn. But a fan he is, publishing a newsletter about the iconic Canadian singer/songwriter since 1994. Named for a Cockburn song, Gavin's Woodpile is an excellent resource on Cockburn matters, with plenty of historical and other information about the artist.

Keebler is also a photographer. Since 1994, he has had many opportunities to shoot Cockburn shows. And now, Keebler has turned some of his photos into a book entitled "Bruce Cockburn - a view from the Woodpile", which features more than 110 images taken at soundchecks and performances from 1994 to 2008.

The book's journey can be traced back to 1994, when a friend of Keebler's got him in to a Cockburn soundcheck before a show at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. Not only did Keebler meet Cockburn - he also struck up a relationship with Bernie Finkelstein, Cockburn's long-time manager. Finkelstein signed up for the just-launched Gavin's Woodpile, and a fruitful relationship with the artist and his management followed. Starting in 1996 at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Keebler obtained authorization to take photos at Cockburn shows.

This is no teenaged, glossy eyed fan's collection of hero worship. Keebler's eye sees Cockburn in various stages of working and perfecting his craft, shots that are often as intimate as they are insightful. Of particular interest are the soundcheck photos. Cockburn is known for the seriousness of his soundchecks, which can take up to two hours as he strives for the perfect sound. Images from soundchecks comprise the lion's share of those in the book, and it therefore represents a rare and interesting insight into an often hidden aspect of an artist's work.

Keebler explains that it took some time for him to get comfortable shooting both at soundchecks and at shows. But over time, he has been able to achieve excellent detail. It is evident from these images that, while Keebler is clearly a fan of this great singer/songwriter, he also holds great respect for his work - not only in the songs that result but the effort that is taken to make those songs sound so wonderful. Keebler does an excellent job of capturing the intensity of Cockburn's efforts.

Keebler also has a keen eye for seeing the joy in Cockburn's performances, and there are many fine photos which capture the artist with a smile or a grin, obviously enjoying the results of his work. In November, 2008, Cockburn participated in a recording session in Seattle as part of a tribute to the Mississippi Sheiks. Keebler took advantage of the opportunity and captured some lovely images of Cockburn in the studio.

At 120 pages, "Bruce Cockburn - a view from the Woodpile" is a smallish book but at 8 X 10 inches the photos are a great size. As he notes on his website, "I did not set out to make piles of cash off the sale of this book, but rather to share my photos with fans of Bruce Cockburn, hoping it might offer a slightly unique view of him at work." Keebler certainly achieves that hope, and this would be a fine addition to any fan's collection, or a great gift for a Cockburn follower. In addition to photos, there is a brief bio, a discography and a few other tour-related graphics. The book is available in paperback or hardback with dust jacket, and can be purchased online at Blurb.

 

 

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