Home Uncategorized Jim Cuddy Band brings maturity and wisdom to rock n’ roll

Jim Cuddy Band brings maturity and wisdom to rock n’ roll

by Archives November 22, 2006

Thursday, Jim Cuddy and his band will take over the Montreal Spectrum in an attempt to bring to life his second solo album, The Light That Guides You Home. This is the first time he and his solo crew will go out and do a personal cross country tour like this and Cuddy, also known as frontman and lead vocalist for the highly successful Canadian country rock group, Blue Rodeo, has many expectations.

Cuddy explained, “My solo band had never come out and done theatres so I was just aiming pretty high for myself. I really wanted to put a show where people could hear all the music we made on the record because I think it’s a lot broader and more complex than the music on my first record which is much more energy driven stuff.” And thus far, it seems as though things have been even better than planned: “Fantastic. It’s been a very very satisfying musical experience,” said Cuddy.

What makes a Jim Cuddy show different from a Blue Rodeo one, aside from the fact that Cuddy and his bandmates, who are Colin Cripps on guitar, Joel Anderson on drums, Anne Lindsay on violin and Bob Packwood on keyboards, are performing his solo work, is the atmosphere of intimacy that is created between the musicians and the audience. “I think it’s a little gentler experience – we don’t have as many electric outings. I do stuff from my second solo record, I do a couple of Blue Rodeo songs, but they’re slightly different because I have a violinist in the band and that really transforms some of the songs quite a lot. I’m also able to do songs that Blue Rodeo doesn’t really do. For example, a song called “Truscott”, which is really a song with a lot of voices and a chorus which we just don’t have with Blue Rodeo,” Cuddy recounted.

The sophomore album of Cuddy’s has been eight years in the making and it’s pretty obvious that he’s extremely eager to show how his new material has evolved since then. “The first record was more intended to be just fun; a sideline to Blue Rodeo. I didn’t feel like I’d dug very deeply into my musical world. But with this one, the intention was much different. I wanted to try to be very musical and I wanted to try a bunch of things, whether they were carving songs just around my voice, very simple instrumentation, a little choral string bits, jazz trumpet, whatever,” Cuddy said.

While there was no grand plan in terms of how he went about the lyrics on The Light That Guides You Home, Cuddy admitted that his state of mind is not at all like it once was, especially when he was writing and recording his debut almost a decade ago, entitled All In Time.

“Once I hit 50, I realized that I was thinking differently. I was very accepting of the way things were around me [and] I wasn’t quite so fearful or lost. I wasn’t looking back as much [as I used to],” Cuddy revealed.

The freedom of going off and doing his solo thing wasn’t always so easy though – although it has certainly gotten easier with time. Cuddy isn’t the only member of Blue Rodeo with outside projects and Cuddy confessed that the initial efforts to branch out did indeed form inner tensions between the musicians of the group. But they all learned a lot by allowing one another to have other outside musical experiences and it seems Blue Rodeo is all the better for it. Cuddy and the rest of the group feel much more secure now in each other’s commitment to the group, because once they’ve done their own thing, they come back, “and they’re excited and fresh to start back again. I think it’s just a sign of maturity and we are an older band so it’s a good thing.”

Having been in the business since the 1970s, the wisdom with which Cuddy answers the questions, despite the fact that he has heard them millions of times before, is admirable and refreshing. He is relaxed and well-spoken and there’s no doubt that his respect and love for music is still going strong and will continue to do so for a long time.

Because for him, the act of making music will never be dull. “I’ve gotten to the point where there’s no reason to quit [so] this is definitely what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life,” Cuddy proclaimed.

What wonderful news for fans of the Jim Cuddy Band and Blue Rodeo alike.

The Jim Cuddy Band play Spectrum Nov. 23. 318 St. Catherine West

Tickets are $25.89

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