Blue Rodeo is a Canadian country rock band, which was formed in 1984 in Toronto, Ontario. They have been signed with Warner Music Group since their debut album Outskirts in March 1987. Including Outskirts, they have 12 full-length releases along with multiple solo albums, side projects, and collaborations.
The band consists of original members Jim Cuddy (guitar/vocals), Greg Keelor (guitar/vocals) and Bazil Donovan (bass), plus newer additions of Glenn Milchem (drums), multi-instrumentalist Bob Egan (formerly of Wilco), keyboardist Michael Boguski, and guitarist Colin Cripps. Drummers Cleave Anderson and Mark French, keyboardists Bob Wiseman, James Gray and Bob Packwood, and multi-instrumentalist Kim Deschamps are former band members.
Cuddy and Keelor met in high school and became great friends. After university, when all their other friends were starting to get jobs, they decided to form a band and started to play music more often. They put together a few different bands without much luck. They released a single as Hi-Fi's in 1980. Cuddy and Keelor moved to New York City for some adventure and to help their music. There they met Bob Wiseman. When they came back to Toronto in the summer of 1984, they thought about putting another band together. They had already thought of the name for the band before they met Cleave and asked him to join the band. Cleave brought along his friend, Donovan, and with this the band Blue Rodeo was born. In 1985 Blue Rodeo played their first show together at The Rivoli in Toronto.
Blue Rodeo is one of the most successful and well known contemporary Canadian bands, having released 12 full-length studio albums, three live recordings, one greatest hits package and five video/DVDs. Their studio albums have sold over three million copies. Cuddy, Keelor, Donovan and Egan have all released solo albums, and Glenn Milchem performs his own solo music under the pseudonym "the swallows". Keelor has also gone on to produce for other artists, notably alt-country group Cuff the Duke, who have also toured as support for Blue Rodeo.
Blue Rodeo members have collaborated extensively with other notable Canadian artists, including Sarah McLachlan, The Tragically Hip, Burton Cummings, Great Big Sea, Jann Arden, The Sadies, Skydiggers, Crash Vegas, Cowboy Junkies, Sarah Harmer, Jill Barber, and Kathleen Edwards. They have won many Canadian music awards, including seven Juno Awards and seven SOCAN awards.
On June 16, 2009, it was announced that the band would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. The induction ceremony was held on September 12, 2009. They are the fifth band to receive the honour.
Blue Rodeo was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 41st Juno Awards on April 1, 2012, joining other Canadian music icons including Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Oscar Petersen, Bruce Cockburn, Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray and Tom Cochrane.
According to CARAS, on selecting Blue Rodeo as the 2012 inductees, "Spanning nearly three decades, Blue Rodeo has sold in excess of four million records and won an unprecedented 11 JUNO Awards, establishing themselves as one of the premier groups in Canadian music history."
On August 5, 2013, former keyboard player James Gray died as the result of a heart attack. He was 52 years old.
Canadian guitarist Colin Cripps joined Blue Rodeo as a full member in 2013, due to Greg Keelor's inability to play electric guitar live anymore, caused by hearing issues.
Television and film
Blue Rodeo's song "Flying" appears on the soundtrack to the television show Due South as track 10, album released in 1996.
The songs "Try" and "Heart Like Mine" are played in the episode "Cupid's Quiver" of the TV show Friday the 13th The Series.
The song "Bad Timing" is played towards the end of the season 4 finale of the hit Canadian show Corner Gas.
Blue Rodeo is the band appearing at the end of the 1990 film Postcards from the Edge.
The song "Try" is played in the background of the bar in the film Navy SEALs.
Greg Keelor, one of the band's founding members, composed the soundtrack for the 2010 film Gunless. The soundtrack for the Canadian Western comedy also featured an original ballad by Blue Rodeo titled "Don't Let the Darkness in Your Head".
As part of their 20th Anniversary celebrations in 2004, the "original five" line up of Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor, Bazil Donovan, Bob Wiseman and Cleave Anderson reunited for a live performance of five songs: Heart Like Mine, Try, Diamond Mine, Love and Understanding, and Til I Am Myself Again. The set is included on the DVD In Stereovision: Blue Rodeo.
On Canada Day 2008, Blue Rodeo played on Parliament Hill. The band closed the show before the commencement of the fireworks and was joined on stage by several other artists to perform "Lost Together". On November 28, 2009 the band performed at half-time of the 97th Grey Cup. The band also performed live concerts for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
Cuddy and Keelor performed at the annual Folk on the Rocks music festival in Yellowknife, NT from July 16 to July 18, 2010.
On October 19, 2010, Blue Rodeo played the music viral show BalconyTV for a rare acoustic performance on a small Balcony overlooking Dame Street, Dublin.
On July 1, 2011, Blue Rodeo performed at Trafalgar Square as part of the Canada Day in London celebrations.
Blue Rodeo performed at their induction to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the Juno Awards of 2012 at Scotiabank Place in the community of Kanata in Ottawa, ON on Sunday April 1, 2012. They took the stage with long-time friend and collaborator Sarah McLachlan and performed their 1992 hit single, "Lost Together". As the performance ended, the audience rose for a spirited standing ovation recognizing Blue Rodeo as "one of Canada's true musical treasures".