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The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.
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Blue Rodeo - Riding High

When Wayne Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame at a gala ceremony last November, only two artists were asked to perform: Stompin’ Tom Connors and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy. For Cuddy, who plays pickup hockey throughout the winter with a group of musicians, including members of the Rheostatics and the Tragically Hip, the invitation stands as a career highlight. But the 44-year-old singer-guitarist says he’s still a bit embarrassed about how he actually got to meet the Great One. “I inflicted myself on him at the end of the night,” recalls Cuddy, still shaking his head in disgust. “Everyone was getting their picture taken with him and I just jumped right in. He was very gracious abo...
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Blue Rodeo - Urban Cowboys

The concert began and ended badly. Minutes before the members of Blue Rodeo were due onstage at the student lounge of Erindale College in suburban Toronto, the band’s manager, John Caton, had been refused admittance. A student security guard with a penchant for protocol insisted that because Caton had no photo identification proving he was old enough to drink, the manager—who is 39—could not go in. Undeterred, Blue Rodeo gave a spirited two-hour performance. Yet some people in the audience of 300 failed to give the show their full attention: it had been exam week, and several students were more interested in consuming large quantities of beer than in listening to the band’s thoughtful brand ...
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Top Pop Music of 2000

Radiohead Kid A  The most adventurous rock album of the year takes dreamy twists and turns while veering off into nightmarish cul-de-sacs. But it ultimately arrives at its hopeful destination with a message about survival in an alienated world.Sarah Harmer You Were Here  The brilliant solo debut from the former lead singer of Kingston, Ont.’s Weeping Tile signals the arrival of an exceptional singer-songwriter—and a major new star.Shelby Lynne I Am Shelby Lynne  She’s all that Nashville isn’t— passionate, tortured, rootsy and real. That makes Lynne’s soulful album easily the year’s best country release.Paul Simon You’re the One  With songs about fate a...
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Music Review: Jim Cuddy - Constellation

Like Blue Rodeo’s albums, Jim Cuddy’s solo records blend country-tinged rock with pop ballads. The only real difference is that, without Greg Keelor, his co-frontman in Blue Rodeo, Cuddy’s recordings are generally more upbeat. That said, some of the best songs on Constellation are those steeped in melancholy. The title track is a piano ballad about a dying friend. Cuddy, 62, sings about struggling to say goodbye as the song builds to a stirring crescendo. “You Be the Leaver” is another meditation on separation and includes the memorable line “So you be the leaver, I’ll be the left behind.” But there are plenty of brighter moments. The joyous, organ-fuelled “While I Was Waiting” revels in fin...
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Music Review: Blue Rodeo - A Merrie Christmas to You

Blue Rodeo is a summer favorite. But here the veteran Canadian band brings its rootsy vibe to wintry songs, including Jim Cuddy’s new “Home To You This Christmas.” The group also delivers such superb covers as a chiming take on Big Star’s “Jesus Christ,” a warm rendition of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song for a Winter’s Night” and a stirring version of The Band’s “Christmas Must Be Tonight.” 
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