Another Canadian icon has been signed on to play Roots and Blues 2019.
Festival fans will remember the huge audience at the main stage when Jim Cuddy and Blue Rodeo appeared several years ago.
Well, the master is back, this time with and equally talented band consisting of Steve O’Connor, Bazil Donovan, drummer Joel Anderson Jim Cuddy, Ann Lindsay and Colin Cripps.
Not only will the talented guitarist/singer-songwriter appear on the main stage, he will also perform in a workshop on one of the venue’s side stages.
From the earliest days of Blue Rodeo and a career-making song like Try, to favourites such as Pull Me Through, Countrywide Soul, 5 Days In May, You Be The Leaver and so many more, Cuddy’s impact on the Canadian music scene sits at a level few artists have achieved.
“He is one of those great Canadian folk artists who can not only sell a phenomenal amount of tickets, but Jim Cuddy continues to stay current and writes new songs,” says artistic director Peter North. “And Ann Lindsay toured with Led Zeppelin so we will be able to have her in some other spots.”
For more than 35 years, Cuddy has written songs that have become indelible in the soundtrack of Canadian lives. With the release of his fourth solo album, Constellation, he adds 10 songs to that extraordinary songbook.
As one of the founding members and creative forces behind Blue Rodeo, Cuddy has received nearly every accolade Canada can bestow upon a musician, from the Order of Canada and induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, to countless JUNO Awards and a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Behind it all, is a simple devotion to his craft as a songwriter, which remains Cuddy’s tireless pursuit after more than three decades.
“I’ve always found fascination in the smallest details of human behaviour,” says Cuddy of his songwriting. “It has been something that I look at and remember, whether it is the details of an exchange that I witnessed or an exchange that I have. Of course, as you get older there are bigger things that happen in your life that you realize you’ll never totally understand. There never seems to be a loss of things to write about.”
Constellation was recorded during the summer and fall of 2017 at Blue Rodeo’s East-end Toronto headquarters, The Woodshed.
What comes across on Constellation is less of a separation between the bitter and the sweet, as is sometimes evident with Blue Rodeo, but rather an emotional honesty that resonates across the album.
“’Constellations’ is about a friend of mine who passed away last year. Some friends and I took him up to my farm and we sort of had our last supper,” says Cuddy, “We had a riotous time, we drank a lot of wine, and we had a lot of laughs, and it was all tempered with the fact that we knew that our friend was not going to survive this illness.”
With Constellation, Cuddy continues to find new ways to balance personal reflection and plainspoken storytelling, remaining both intimate and accessible.
Tickets for the 2019 festival are now on sale and will remain at special early bird prices until Jan. 31. Get yours at www.rootsandblues.ca, by calling 250-833-4096 or visit the office at 541 Third Street SW.
And don’t forget to get tickets for Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band’s “Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas, which takes place at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 at the Nexus at First.”