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Blue Rodeo to play Enmax tonight

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Blue Rodeo fans worldwide have nothing on the Canadian fans whose undying support honoured their favourite band with a star on the
Canada's Walk of Fame this past fall. These home-grown heroes of Canadian music are truly a national treasure who play the Enmax Centre tonight at 7:30 p.m. with Cuff the Duke.
For well over 20 years and more than a dozen albums and counting, the distinctive music of /Blue Rodeo/ has had quite the music journey. Blue Rodeo. Photo by Dustin Rabin
For /Blue Rodeo/ originals Jim Cuddy, who wanted to be like Roy Rogers, and Greg Keelor who claims a consummated relationship with fire, it all started in Toronto in 1978 as part of the Hi-Fi's. Releasing one single ‘I Don't Know Why (You Love Me)’ in 1980 they were off to a noticable start but by early 1981 the group had fallen flat and Cuddy and Keelor headed to New York.
The pair, still the backbone of Blue Rodeo decades later, spent the next few years putting together a band, Fly To France, playing only a few gigs but cementing their song writing and performing partnership still strong today. Returning to Toronto by 1984 they hired band members, including long time bass player Bazil Donovan and their keyboard wizard Bob Wiseman, and the new group began a vibrant hectic schedule playing almost nightly in Toronto's Queen Street West scene. The early chic of alt rock colliding with the country edge was a perfect time for the birth of Blue Rodeo influenced both in sound and name by Elvis Costello's ‘Almost Blue’ album.
Originally turned down in 1985 by Warner within a year their Toronto live show fame landed them their Warner major deal and their first album, ‘Outskirts’ which included their big break-out song, ‘Try’ with both the song and the album hitting gold by January of 1988. The rest, as they say, is history.‘Diamond Mine’ followed in 1989 leading to a coveted Juno Award for Group of the Year. The 1990's brought a stream of constant classic Blue Rodeo albums but only after a tightening of their melodic tunes known for their keyboard rants and famous guitar solos. Their singles had to be reigned in under the five-minute mark to be considered for American radio play and the efforts were worth it with the success of hits off their third album, ‘Casino.’
By the fourth album, ‘Lost Together’, changes were underway including the addition of pedal steel player Kim Deschamps from the Cowboy

Junkies coming on board for the next seven years followed by Bob Egan on the slide, while keyboardist Wiseman left for a solo career  and was replaced by the new constant force, James Gray with Glenn Milchem on drums.  This ensemble recorded the famous ‘Five Days in July’ in the summer of 1993 at Keelor's Ontario farm. It was this album that was said to truly cement the unmistakable Blue Rodeo sound of heartbreaking melody, haunting harmonies and pure instrumentation talents all around the group.
Following on the heels of Five Day's success were albums, ‘Nowhere to Here’ and ‘Tremolo’ along with solo albums by both with Keelor releasing
‘Gone’ and Cuddy with ‘All In Time.’ A double live-set ‘Just Like A Vacation followed,’ in 2000 ‘The Days in Between’ and topping it off in 2001 was their first /Greatest Hits Vol. I/.  Cuddy, said to have a self-professed fascination with the soulful sounds added a horn section he dubbed the ‘Bushwack Horns,’ to the next album, and on the tour with ‘Palace of Gold.’ Celebrating 20 years with the release of the DVD
‘Stereovision’ the wit of the band still shines through in the view master slide included with images of burning snowman and a party spirited band surrounded by friends, family and the famous many who have graced the stage and albums for a chance to play with this timeless group.
The past few years, along with many successful solo albums and award winning hits for Jim Cuddy, the group released of ‘Are You Ready’, and most recently ‘Small Miracles.’ For Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor, Bazil Donovan, Bob Egan and Glenn Milchem the story continues and is told in the DVD/CD release ‘Blue Road,’ by Toronto film maker Chris Mills in this exciting documentary of rehearsal and life on the road on their most recent ‘Small Miracles Tour.’

Tickets cost $51.50 or call (403) 329-SEAT

—By Michelle Greysen, special to L.A. Beat


Michelle Greysen is not new to the arts and entertainment media, as the past publisher of the often missed Calgary STRAIGHT Arts & Entertainment weekly magazine she now writes freelance magazine features, has recently released a poetry book, is working on her breakout novel and is thrilled
to be a new resident to sunny Lethbridge! More on her work at


Last Updated ( Monday, 18 January 2010 20:49 )  
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