By Michael Barclay - Friday, November 9, 2012 - 0 Comments
The veteran band celebrates 25 years with box set and staging their own tribute night
Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo laughs and says, “When I think of the mistakes that we have made over the years and that we’ve survived, it’s ridiculous.”
It’s also miraculous. To be any kind of band for longer than five years is a major victory. To be a band for 25 years is a formidable feat, especially in this country. But to be a successful Canadian band for over 25 years putting out new albums that routinely go gold and platinum is—well, now we’re really only talking about two bands: The Tragically Hip and Blue Rodeo.
Blue Rodeo played their first gig in Toronto in February 1985, after Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor returned from New York City. They released their first album, Outskirts, in 1987. Unlike The Tragically Hip, who are exactly the same age and have maintained the same lineup since day one, Blue Rodeo has a large extended family of ex-members and star collaborators who have bolstered the core trio of Cuddy, Keelor and bassist Bazil Donovan. Some of those showed up at an intimate show at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio for some live karaoke, performing the band’s greatest hits, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Outskirts and a new box set compiling the group’s first five albums.
By Gabriela Perdomo - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
… and what about Tony Clement gig with Elvis?
The Sheepdogs break Hill protocol
Saskatoon band the Sheepdogs were in the capital to play a special concert at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa along with the Quebec rock band Karkwa. The event was part of an ongoing music series put together by Heritage Minister James Moore to help expose MPs to Canadian music. This was the second such night he organized. The first was in December and featured Jim Cuddy and Marie-Eve Janvier. The idea stemmed from the success of the special Canadian movie nights Moore has been hosting for some time. The concert series has no official name but the folks at Music Canada, who helped organize the evening, refer to it simply as the minister’s “Music Night.” Moore was unable to host the event at the last minute and asked Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose to step in to emcee. This infuriated Treasury Board President Tony Clement, who pointed out he actually bought the Sheepdogs’ music way back. Clement joked from his seat at the NAC concert: “I have a bone to pick with James Moore.”
In 2011, the Sheepdogs were the first unsigned band to grace the cover of Rolling Stone. All members sport signature long hair with serious facial scruff or full beards. At the concert’s pre-party, Ambrose joked: “They make my hair look small.” At the party, they met Tim Hockey, Canadian banking group head for Toronto-Dominion Bank, one of the evening’s sponsors. Hockey said he wanted to hug the band after bassist Ryan Gullen told him that TD was the only financial institution that would give them a line of credit. For years, said Gullen, the Sheepdogs lived off that credit, which helped fund the band’s creative endeavours like producing their CDs. Gullen said there was never a lineup in their bank and all the tellers knew them by name.