Jim Cuddy - Rhinestone Cowboy (Warner Musc Canada): Jim Cuddy released his new album, Countrywide Soul, on Friday (May 31). It is something of a hybrid record for the Blue Rodeo singer, as it features new versions of earlier solo and BR material, covers of a couple of country classics by George Jones (Almost Persuaded) and Glen Campbell (Rhinestone Cowboy), plus two brand new compositions (Back Here Again and Glorious Day).
Sure to be a favourite at this summer's live shows is Cuddy's take on the Glen Campbell hit, Rhinestone Cowboy. He doesn't stray that far from the original, but his version reaffirms that Cuddy is one of very few vocalists who can match the easy and mellow smoothness of Campbell.
Countrywide Soul is the follow-up to the very well-received album, Constellation. Produced by Tim Vesely, Cuddy and Colin Cripps, Countrywide Soul was recorded in rustic fashion, live off the top floor of a barn at Cuddy's family farm in Southern Ontario.
In a label press release, Cuddy explains that "When we go into the studio to make records, the songs are born out of my imagination and the band contributes its incredible talents to make those ideas come to life. The songs evolve and become part of our collective imagination."
"It is on tour that the songs take flight. We are connected by what we create together. That’s what I wanted to capture on this record. How much I enjoy listening to the band reveal their imagination and add their creativity to the songs was really the inspiration. How vital that is to me. So as much as this is a musicians’ record, it’s really an example – if you’re lucky – of what bands can create together.”
Cuddy has Ontario shows at Peter's Player's in Gravenhurst (July 23), Huntsville Centre for the Arts (July 24), Hagersville Rocks fest (July 26), and Jackson Triggs Niagara (Aug. 9).