Crowsnest Pass Herald – Kimberley Massey

Alberta-born folk/roots musician Joshua Cockerill performed at the Blackbird Cafe in Coleman on Wednesday, November 10, drawing in over 50 people and effectively filling every seat in the intimate coffee shop.
The eclectic stylings and adornments of the Blackbird offered an appropriate backdrop for the diverse range and styles of Cockerill’s songs, while the intimate seating arrangement and mellow lighting set his audience at ease.
Springing from hauntingly romantic and, at times, even desperate love songs one moment, into high-energy dance tunes the next, Cockerill showcased his own talents and repertoire, as well as that of his band mates.
Coleman marked the seventh stop on his two-week Canadian tour, and also fell on the evening of the one-year anniversary of the release of his debut album, “The Trick with Your Heart I’m Learning to Do”.
“I can’t think of a nicer place to spend it,” said Cockerill. “This place really puts the “hip” in Coleman, that’s for sure.”
Three stops remained in the tour: Saskatoon on November 12, and Weyburn, Sask on November 13, before landing back at The Cameron House in Toronto on November 17, where the band has been serving a weekly residency in support of the album.
Cockerill said while Toronto has offered and afforded him the opportunity to produce his album and to make a name for himself, “coming back West feels like coming home.”

“I’m a Calgary boy,” he said with a smirk.
Many of the songs on the album, and ones he is currently working on, feature imagery with which Albertans in general, and Calgarians in specific are all too familiar, including: Nose Hill Park, the Bow River, the Rocky Mountains, vast expanses of prairie, and the big blue Alberta sky.
In addition to performing original songs (both with accompaniment from his band , and also a handful of solo acoustic numbers), Cockerill also performed a couple of borrowed hits by the likes of the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen.
Between songs, he would offer observations, as well as personal anecdotes, including one from this past summer.
Cockerill says he was playing a “tweener” set at Ontario’s Mariposa Music Festival between the two closing acts, and explained how he dealt with the nerves and anxiety generated from the anticipation of performing solo for nearly 10,000 people.
Cockerill’s album features appearances by artists such as Serena Ryder, Justin Rutledge, and Dustin Bentall, and has worked its way into the top ten Folk/Roots charts for various college radio station across the country, in addition to receiving regular play from CBC Radio.