BLUE RODEO – In Our Nature

(Warner Music Canada) It worked once so why not try it again. In an attempt to recreate the magic that was sparked by Blue Rodeo’s previous sojourn to vocalist/songwriter Greg Keelor’s Muskoka farm in 1996 which resulted in the highly successful “Five Days In July” album, the band decided to mark their 25th anniversary by revisiting that same location in the fall of 2012. This time co-writer and vocalist Jim Cuddy thought they’d only be cutting some demos but by the time the band, now numbering seven members, assembled in various rooms around the building, the magic which emitted from those sessions resulted in the creation of “In Our Nature”, possibly the band’s best ever record to date.

Much has been made of Keelor’s tinnitus hearing problems (the same affliction which has also struck The Who’s Pete Towshend), but rather than be hampered by this setback, the band has recruited guitarist Colin Cripps to ramp up the volume with the band committing to personal head monitors for their forthcoming national tour.

Creativity-wise Keelor and Cuddy have never been more prodigious. Yes their flare for mixing country-rock, soft pop and county-blues is reflective of a number of other major bands yet at the same time remains distinctive and unique. Keelor’s spiritual, interpretive ballads, as exhibited in `Wandering’, `In Our Nature’ or his seven-minute cover of The Band’s opus `Out Of The Blue’ combined with Cuddy’s penchant for the `big song’ pop melody, as evident in `New Morning Sun and `Make Your Mind Up’ provides for 14 excellent tracks. Add to this, the tasty keyboard flourishes from new boy Mark Bogusta and some fiery lead guitar licks from the seventh member, Colin Cripps to support Bob Egan’s stellar steel guitar work and the rhythmic anchor of bassist Bazil Donovan and drummer Glen Milchem and you have a band that continues to mature . With a major national tour forthcoming, Blue Rodeo’s 13th studio album presents a band that is truly at the top of their game.

Download on iTunes: In Our Nature

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