Muschamp Rd

Blue Rodeo and Friends

February 19th, 2007
Blue Rodeo

So while eating a late lunch I turn on the TV and flicking through come across what appears to be the Sadies on CMT. At first I didn’t know who it was, just some guys in nudie suites playing in a barn, very Gram Parsons. Then I say those are the Good Brothers and that is Greg Keelor and there is Jim Cuddy and I realize they are singing a Blue Rodeo song.

It appears I’ve stumbled across some TV special entitled “Blue Rodeo and Friends”. After the Sadies, Sarah Harmer sang my favourite Blue Rodeo song “Five Days in May”. All of Pat Bailey’s favourites on one stage. Other guests included members of Great Big Sea and then another Canadian songwriting luminary Ron Sexsmith. He sang “Bad Timing” with them.

Blue Rodeo are perhaps underappreciated in Canada at least by some who have come after them. The No Depression set down South often gives them and the Cowboy Junkies a lot of credit for reclaiming country rock from 70s radio stalwarts the Eagles and their ilk and for keeping artistry and integrity alive in the face of “New Country”.

Here are a couple Blue Rodeo song lyrics:

After so long nobody’s wrong.
After so long nobody’s right.

Maybe soon there’ll come a day,
When no more tears will fall.
If we each forgive a little bit,
And we both look back on it,
As just bad timing that’s all.

I don’t think this is the same performance but one from many years later with a slightly different group of “friends” on CBC and available on YouTube.


  • Muskie says:

    I’ve got two more episodes of “Four Strong Winds”, one on female songwriters and the most recent one which talked about The Band, The Guess Who, Willie P. Bennett, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Blue Rodeo, even Handsome Ned. A lot of these artists aren’t really country and definitely not New Country. But they are Canadian, and I’ve always maintained, especially given the size of our population, Canada produces a lot of great songwriters. CMT probably has a CANCON requirement.

    I think I heard Randy Bachman say once, that in Canada there were only two things to do during the winter, play hockey or start a band and play in your parent’s basement or garage. I never did either…

    Check out this TV show if you get a chance and you like Canadian songwriters.

  • Muskie says:

    I caught another documentary on CMT just now, called “Four Strong Winds: A Celebration of Canadian Songwriters”. I was flicking by and their was Neil. It was old footage and the documentary must have been made a few years ago as it was about two Neil Young albums behind. It was talking about Greendale which I actually like a lot better than the two albums that came after it.

    There were some less well known songwriters, but some interesting footage and clips from Bruce Cockburn and Ron Sexsmith among people I regularly put on mix CDs. Fred Eaglesmith was interviewed, I know his work because Blackie and the Rodeo Kings covered him and Willie P. Bennett the patron saint of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings plays in his band. It is odd that someone who became one of my favourite songwriters makes his living playing mandolin and harmonica in someone else’s band.

    Being a singer songwriter is a tough life, one reason I write and read about it rather than try my hand at it. Last time I talked to Kev he was encouraging me to write songs. I make up chord changes and riffs and what not, I also write silly throw away lyrics or freestyle stream of conscience stuff, I lack confidence to be a singer songwriter.

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