The Jim Cuddy Band. Period.
If aliens came from space and had to choose musicians from each Country that best represented the core and values of the land they come from, hands down – The Jim Cuddy Band would be headed to the stars.
The band, led by Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo fame, get the job done. All efforts go into playing music. No bells, no whistles and no dancing girls. Add the simple fact these people on stage with Jim are some of the finest this Country has to offer and the songs are a lesson in songwriting – The Jim Cuddy Band may be the largest ‘Roots’ outfit touring around.
Colin Cripps (guitar), Anne Lindsay (fiddle), Joel Anderson (drums), Bazil Donovan (bass) and Steve Cooper (keyboards). Five headliners on their own dazzled Place des Arts last evening with lessons in working as a unit and individually reaching profound depths of sound. The band delivering an array of Country-inspired Canadiana Folk Rock to a crowd ‘caught in the headlights’ of a powerful musical train.
Tunes from the new album CountryWide Soul were trotted out as pure as they were meant to be. Rarely do studio tracks obtain their form live and vice versa. The Jim Cuddy band manage to parlay both versions on a level whose only difference is the audience ‘noise’ and the energy an audience adds to the musicians. Cripps especially charged by the live interaction and his solos are monstrous. Cuddy in obvious awe of his guitar player’s talent.
Married Again, Countrywide Soul, Constellations, Roses at Your Feet along with Blue Rodeo classics Try, After the Rain and 5 days in May fit together like pieces of a winter puzzle. No damns in a concert as fluid as a stream winding through a thawing Canadian forest. The only shadows were the proper placements of light and dark within the highly crafted songs.
The new album contains one song that could be a Jim Cuddy original. One song that pays homage to the late Glen Campbell. Rhinestone Cowboy is Jim Cuddy. A feel good tune built wearing comfortable shoes and delivered from the heart. A celebration of music as the chorus is sung and known by almost everyone around the world. Live, a sing-a-long – an appreciation , allowing the sum of all parts of the evening’s show to come into fruition. A collective thank you to the band and to the punters. A chance for everyone in attendance to say; The Jim Cuddy Band. Period.