The definition of a rebel is someone who goes against the grain. Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead! For close to thirty years now, Blue Rodeo has taken the road less traveled - and succeeded far beyond anyone’s expectations. The band emerged in the early 80’s as a countrified rock band in the era of hair metal and glossy pop. Despite sticking out like a sore thumb (or maybe because of it), their single “Try” became omni-present on radio across Canada and set in motion a three decade long career of headlining every club, theatre and arena in Canada. In 1993, when grunge rock was squeezing commercial rock off the radio, they recorded their quietest album, Five Days In July, and scored their biggest hit selling over a half million copies of that one record alone. And now, in the digital age, while everyone else is thinking of ways to sell single songs through the internet or snippets of songs on cell phones, Blue Rodeo has recorded a double album designed specifically to be enjoyed on vinyl. The Things We Left Behind is the real deal. Double gate-fold sleeve, 12 x 12 cover and two albums, four distinct sides programmed to take the listener on a trip.
In their twenty-five year career, Blue Rodeo has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, sold over 4 million records, won an unprecedented 5 Juno awards as Group of the Year, been handed keys to the City of Toronto and given a Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. But for them, the accolades and awards pale in comparison to the good fortune of being musicians.
“I think that’s the testament – to really do it for a living,” says Cuddy reflecting on all that has happened to the band. “Not just live the life of a popular band but to actually do music for a living.”
Twelve albums on, the rebels live.
Blue Rodeo returns to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre Saturday, August 18th!