Niagara Gazette

July 21, 2013

Blue Rodeo is back at Artpark on Tuesday

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Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Artpark will try to make it four sold out Tuesday shows in a row when Canadian Music Hall of Famers Blue Rodeo cross the border for a Tuesday in the Park show. Blue Rodeo also has a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame, they were only the fifth band to receive the honor.

Opening the show is another Canadian; singer-songwriter Matt Anderson has shared the stage with Little Feat, Loverboy and April Wine and his most recent album “Coal Mining Blues,” features Garth Hudson from The Band. To date, all the Tuesday openers have won over the crowd and I am sure Anderson will continue that tradition.

One of the advantages of being so close to the Canadian border is that music fans here can pick up Canadian radio signals. While the traditional radio does not create stars the way it used to, Blue Rodeo was one of those bands that built up a following in Western New York because of its proximity to their native Toronto.

Blue Rodeo formed in 1984 and released their first album “Outskirts” in 1987. The current lineup features three original members, Jim Cuddy (guitar/vocals), Greg Keelor (guitar/vocals) and Bazil Donovan (drums).

As for their sound, it has been labeled as country-rock or roots-rock and even Americana. Allmusic describes the bands sound as “a basic blend of country, folk, and rock, but with a definite pop appeal that underlined their devotion to later-period Beatles, in addition to expected touchstones like Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, and the Band.”

The band has twelve studio albums and three live albums and has sold over four million records. Their song “Try” has appeared in the television show “Friday the 13th the series” and in the movies “Postcards from the Edge,” and “Navy Seals.”

The band’s primary songwriters and key collaborators are Cuddy and Keelor, both of whom have solo careers in addition to being in Blue Rodeo. Cuddy has released three solo albums, the latest being “Skyscraper Soul” released in 2011. Keelor has released four solo albums, the last one being the soundtrack to the film “Gunless.”

The last album of new original material Blue Rodeo released was 2007’s “Small Miracles.” All of their studio albums achieved at least Gold status in Canada, (40,000 units) and several have reached multi- Platinum sales status (80,000 units).

Their largest selling album is “Five Days in July,” released in 1993. The album contains the hits “5 Days in May,” “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” and “Bad Timing. Sarah McLachlan appears on three of the albums songs.

The Artpark show is the band’s only date in the United States this year. According to the tour archive on their official website, the last time they played in the U.S was September 30, 2011, when they opened for Rosanne Cash in Augusta, Ga.

They last played Artpark in 2009.

The last time I saw them was almost 10 years ago (by one week) at the “Toronto Rocks” show headlined by the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Rush.