16 February 2024

Author M.D. DUNN Launches New Bruce Cockburn Book, You Get Bigger As You Go: Bruce Cockburn’s Influence and Evolution

Sault Ste. Marie native, musician and author M.D. Dunn is celebrating the release of his sixth book, You Get Bigger As You Go: Bruce Cockburn’s Influence and Evolution.

Bruce Cockburn has enthralled audiences with his insightful lyrics and innovative guitar playing for over half a century. Hit songs like “Wondering Where the Lions Are,” “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” and “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” are just part of the story. In You Get Bigger as You Go: Bruce Cockburn’s Influence and Evolution, musician and writer M.D. Dunn takes the reader on a humorous and obsessive quest to track Cockburn’s significant cultural footprint. Interviews with producers, musicians, activists, fans, as well as Bruce’s career-long manager, the legendary Bernie Finkelstein, and with the enigmatic Cockburn himself form the core of this critical assessment and appreciation. In these conversations, Cockburn and friends celebrate a life of music and social engagement.

You Get Bigger as You Go: Bruce Cockburn’s Influence and Evolution is the perfect beginner’s guide to the music and the artist, and a fun addition to any fan's library. Photographs from archivist Daniel Keebler span decades and show Cockburn in his natural habitat, on stage and in studio.

Author M.D. Dunn’s personal journey with Cockburn began when he was just fourteen and happened upon a cassette copy of Cockburn’s sixth album Joy Will Find a Way. Though the cassette contained few clues regarding its origin or creator, Dunn emphatically states that absorbing that album as a young guitarist “changed my life.”

“The mysterious, wise voice of the singer” he recalls, “landed like a message from the universe.”

Dunn first interviewed Cockburn for Canadian Dimension Magazine in 2014. “It seemed to have went well,” he recalls, “because further opportunities to interview Bruce for print followed.” By 2016 he had amassed a number of short pieces reflecting on the meaning and significance of Cockburn’s now legendary song catalog. This creative inspiration led Dunn to embark on a reconsideration of Cockburn’s holistic life and legacy, which was even more vast than he had previously known.

“The driving question behind this book is: how does music affect us?” says Dunn. “Music has the power to change people. What influence does music have in our daily lives? I applied these questions to Bruce Cockburn’s music and cultural presence to produce what I see as a beginner’s guide and critical appreciation.”

M.D. Dunn has performed original music for over thirty years and released nine albums. His poems and articles have been widely published. You Get Bigger as You Go: Bruce Cockburn’s Influence and Evolution is Dunn’s first book of nonfiction. Previous poetry titles include Ghost Music (BuschekBooks, 2010), Fancy Clapping (Scrivener Press, 2012), and Even the Weapons (BuschekBooks, 2014). He lives in Sault Ste. Marie, where he teaches writing at Sault College.

Find him online at www.mddunn.com.


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