Thursday, October 16, 2008

TVD's Daily Wax | "It Came From the North"

Now we come to the very best, the crème-de-la-crème. I don’t think there is any group that even comes close to being such a perfect example of ubiquitous musical Canadiana than Blue Rodeo. In the twenty-odd years that they’ve been playing, it appears they’ve been gifted with the Midas touch. Some musical wizard revealed to them the secret formula for writing the perfect pop song, and ever since they’ve been cranking ‘em out in rapid and infinite succession. Their most successful album, “Five Days in July,” went platinum six times over and their singles are featured in heavy rotation pretty much every hour on most radio stations. So what’s this wonderful music all about? Bassist Bazil Donovan summed it all up: “My heart was set in rock but my fingers were in country.” I would amend his statement a wee bit and broaden “country” to include the full range of “roots” genres including rockabilly, folk, and bluegrass. Added to that, the best barroom piano this side of the prairies, and there you have it, the ultimate fusion of badass rock and folksy tunes, guaranteeing them the adoration of fans and critics alike.

They keep reworking this magic combination in myriads of formats, from sugar-sweet ballads to strident guitar solos, and it never goes wrong. Moreover, they tour extensively and make a point of appearing in remote and tiny communities all over the country. When I was a little girl, I remember the way my heart almost stopped driving past the hockey rink of my own small town and seeing the rusty road sign advertising their arrival. Sadly there was nobody willing to take me to the show, but it was almost enough just knowing that they were there. They are hardworking lads and always turn out a good show, in the recording studio and at their live concerts and at their public appearances, building real connections with us salt-of-the-earth folks they sing about and for. Nobody does alt-country better than Blue Rodeo.

Blue Rodeo - 5 Days In May (Mp3)
Blue Rodeo - Side of the Road (Mp3)
Blue Rodeo - Head Over Heels (Mp3)
Blue Rodeo - Hasn’t Hit Me Yet (Mp3)
Blue Rodeo - Get Through to You (Mp3)
Blue Rodeo - Photograph (Mp3)