BLACKIE AND THE RODEO KINGS
Sat Dec 10, 2022 | 8pm
FirstOntario Concert Hall (1 Summers Lane, Hamilton)
Orchestra Seats $54.99 (+SC)
Balcony Seats $39.99 (+SC)
If any band was uniquely positioned to withstand the rollercoaster demands of the last three years, it was Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. The proof is in their blazing 11th album, O Glory!
While much of the planet struggled to find new ways of working, singer-songwriters and guitarists Stephen Fearing, Colin Linden and Tom Wilson coolly leveraged the flexibility that’s sustained them for 25 years, sheltering in their respective home bases of Victoria, Nashville and Hamilton while using technology to bridge the chasm separating them from each other and from their rhythm section of Gary Craig and John Dymond.
With Linden producing from his Nashville digs, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings wrote and recorded 13 alternately roots-rock, folk, country, and Americana-style songs, ultimately crafting what Linden confirms is the band’s most “spiritual and political” musical statement to date.
Originally, Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson came together to record what was supposed to be a one-off tribute album to the great Canadian songwriter Willie P. Bennett. The result was High or Hurtin’: The Songs of Willie P. Bennett. The band had no plans to make a subsequent album, but something unanticipated happened.
“When we play together and sing together as Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Something magical happens. We haven’t asked ourselves what it is all these years and we’re not going to start now” as Stephen Fearing describes it.
Recognizing this special chemistry and the resulting joy of creating music together has brought Blackie and The Rodeo Kings back to stage and studio again and again. “After each album, we are never certain we will get together to make another, but then something will happen and we are reminded of the joyride that is Blackie,” explains Tom Wilson.
A 25th anniversary is a significant achievement for any band and is a milestone worth celebrating. “It blows you away a little bit because you realize how unlikely it all is,” muses Linden, shaking his head in disbelief.
Twenty-five years in, while they still spend most of each year working on their individual projects, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings has organically evolved into one of the finest roots-oriented bands in North America.
Tom Wilson sums up the Blackie and The Rodeo Kings journey. “25 years later, we’re still digging in for the sweet spots. Making friends with the ghosts of poets and harmonizing with the voices in fields and swinging for the fences.”