Written by Ivana Kirkpatrick, CNN
Ivana Kirkpatrick is the editor of the Ralph Lauren Country Diary.
Blue Rodeo has released a new album, entitled “Many a Mile,” after many years of taking a break from the recording studio. After months of studio time in Nashville, Tennessee, the Canadian band members, Mark Olson, Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor and Tim Hicks, recorded 20 new songs.
“All kinds of people recorded [the songs], big names and name names just for us as friends to hear,” said Cuddy in a phone interview.
“There were a lot of people we wanted to work with, but we just couldn’t fit everybody in the time frame and we decided to go with 30 people — sometimes we’d go to 20 people, sometimes to two people. But we’d make a lot of choices and try to find our own combinations for different things. In the end, we had an amazing lineup that we had just spent an incredible amount of time with and we knew each other so well.”
These choices included others from the classical, country and rock worlds. There was Sam Bush, who sang on the lead track “Rhythim” (recorded with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Tony Rice) and Gordon Lightfoot. One of these new songs, “Jolene,” was written for Linda Ronstadt, who died in March. Ronstadt recorded the song in 1975 and is considered a standard by fans, but her version on the new album is a collaboration with the band. Cuddy and Ronstadt recorded their version a few months ago, after being introduced by Canadian actress Marylouise Burke, who produced the track.
“Marylouise Burke is really kind of a magical person. She just knew … it was important to us that we included this song, so she got it done,” said Cuddy.
“Many a Mile” is a high-energy album full of break-up songs, cover songs, love songs and silly ballads. “Jesse,” a ballad, received a dreamlike take, influenced by the art of imagination. Another ballad, “Shoes,” is a clever ode to different footwear styles, which ends with the chorus: “You’re the only one I think about!” On the aptly titled track “Going Home,” another, much more direct, kiss-off, asks the question: “Why am I always going home?”