The Trinity Session (RCA) The sun sets through stained-glass windows and the tapes begin rolling: a hiss of silence is finally broken by Margo Timmins soaring voice, floating like smoke into the ether of the Church of the Holy Trinity. She sounds like a beaten angel falling to earth, transforming the traditional folk song Mining For Gold into something timeless. The tone is set. A crying harmonica is joined by sparse guitar, melodic bass, quietly wheezing accordian, tickle of mandolin and a gentle snare. Misguided Angel is beautiful, heart-breaking, perfect. What makes it even more remarkable is it was the first time the band ever performed it. The Trinity Session is an album of first takes, recorded in one cold night in Toronto. Despite (or maybe because of) the lack of rehearsals and a budget, with just a single microphone and an old church, the Cowboy Junkies' 1988 effort is a simple masterpiece. The seamless chemistry is no accident. Timmins is joined by brothers Michael and Peter on guitar and drums respectively, with husband Alan Anton on bass. By the time they recorded The Trinity Session with a few friends, the Junkies had acquired a set of smoky gems, blending country and blues, originals and covers in a way that transcends genres. Haunting interpretations of Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry and the ageless Blue Moon comfortably mix with Timmins siblings-penned classics To Love Is To Bury and 200 Miles. Even grumpy Lou Reed was so moved by their version of Sweet Jane that he called it 'the best and most authentic version I have ever heard'. Margo Timmins said later they had created 'something that exceeded my wildest expectations, something that we just didn't anticipate'. The Cowboy Junkies would conjure up many other moments of grandeur during their long and fruitful career, but The Trinity Session remains a monument to spontaneous, divine inspiration.