blue rodeo-remaining vital-JOHN EMMS MUSIC REVIEWS

November 26, 2009 john emms Edit Leave a comment

Thank God and the passion within that BLUE RODEO still have FIRE IN THEIR  BELLY. Think that’s easy. Did you get this memo?

Conventional wisdom states that after countless albums, tours and the music business being what it is few artists can still dig deep to come up with the goods late in an already successful career.

Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor, Bazil Donavan, Glenn Milchem and Bob Egan apparently never recieved that memo. Instead the band has forged an album rich in lyrical content and high in muscianship.

Should anyone care that a band spreads out and tackles a double album opus in these non attention to detail times?

That would depend on who’s listenening. I still listen  to records the old fashioned way.

WITH MY EARS. The disc opens with a soon to be Greg Keelor classic. (You may recall he has written a few already)  It’s the title track and offers up shimmering colors, intimate lyrics and a powerful Beatlesque chorus that blows you out of the room. Jim Cuddy fires up the “rhodes” piano mid tempo One More Night with his passionate vocal,   small town vibe and everyman stance it displays Cuddy and the band at the top of their game.

Despite these new inflections fans can still take stock that Waiitng for the World, One Light Left In Heaven and Sheba all three Cuddy written tracks offer up craftsmanship without sacrificing melody and depth.

However, Keelor always known to take chances with his material spreads the sound into a wide  open D concept soundscape  with the refreshing Million Miles and his gorgeous “Harvest’ era Neil Young inspired  Don’t Let The Darkness In Your Head.

The beauty of Blue Rodeo as an outfit is that multi-instrumentalistist Egan, Milchem’s expressive stickwork and Donavan’s always vital bass lines invoke musicanship first and foremost providing Keelor and Cuddy’s song framework with emotion. With this in mind it should be said that as a recent add in tour and  studio player piano man Bob Boguski adds tremendous depth and clarity to a lot of the material

Other highlights include the big ambience of Venus Rising, The Band Stage Fright era roots inflections of  Arizona Dust and Keelor’s own Lost Togther era track Wasted.

Earlier in the year as this album was being mixed I had conversations with Keelor and Cuddy about how this album was going to be received and conceived as a double album/four sided opus. For the band to pull this off with integrity intact remains a testament to the band’s musicality.   Yes, it’s good, and I NOW HAVE THE DOUBLE VINYL..ah now that’s fun


JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Sun Media contributor, singer-songwriter with Canadian rockers THE SHAFTMEN







Categories: Uncategorized

0 Responses to “blue rodeo-remaining vital-JOHN EMMS MUSIC REVIEWS”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

June 2010

%d bloggers like this: