The definition of a rebel is someone who goes against the grain. For close to 30 years now, Blue Rodeo has taken the road less traveled - and succeeded far beyond anyone's expectations. The band emerged in the early-80's as a countrified rock band in the era of hair metal and glossy pop. Despite sticking out like a sore thumb (or maybe because of it), their single "Try" became omnipresent on radio across Canada and set in motion a three decade long career of headlining every club, theater and arena in The True North. In 1993, when grunge rock was squeezing commercial rock off the radio, they recorded their most acoustic album, Five Days In July, and scored their biggest hit selling over a half million copies of that one record alone.
And now, in the digital age, Blue Rodeo has recorded 1000 Arms, an intimate album designed to be enjoyed on vinyl. Fourteen albums on, the rebel is still living and breathing. 1000 Arms was recorded over the winter of 2015/16 at Blue Rodeo's Woodshed Studios. The album shares its name with the Jim Cuddy-penned song inspired by a podcast he was listening to. "The podcast was about allowing your community to help you," says Cuddy. "When we were going over titles, we were thinking about our musical community, what it means to us and how much we would do for each other. That was what we were thinking about the most, so it seemed like an appropriate title."
The 12-track record was co-produced and engineered by Tim Vesely, a founding member of the Rheostatics. Jim and his longtime bandmate Greg Keelor credit Vesely with helping influence the sound of the new album. The engineer had been listening to some of the band's older records and commented that Jim and Greg weren't singing together as much as they used to. The revelation caught the band off guard but the result brought the band back to what has always been one of their strengths. "We made a very concerted effort to sing together on this album, either with direct harmonies or call and response, and we really enjoyed that," adds Cuddy.