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Blue Rodeo - Palace of Gold
Rounder Records
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
2003-08-07
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Artist: Blue Rodeo (www.bluerodeo.com)
Title: Palace of Gold
Label: Rounder Records (www.rounder.com)
Genre: Rock/Folk, Alternative Country, Americana, Pop

What I like the most about Blue Rodeo is the fact that they are a country-rock band with many alternatives to offer the listener. I try to look at everything with an open-ended attitude regarding tastes and styles. I do not expect it, although desiring an eclectic brand of styles within one recording is commonplace for me. This band passed my litmus test. I can see how easy it would be for many different age groups and a broad range of listeners to enjoy this band. People that get pleasure from country, pop and rock will find many tracks tickle their fancy on Palace of Gold. Dare I say (clearing of throat); even mainstream country/pop admirers will enjoy this album.

This is indeed a musical adventure with rooms lined with gold. I heard of this band but never listened to anything by them before. Now I know what I have been missing all these years. Better late than never I guess.

With a well-groomed combination of strings, guitars and horns, including vocals that wrap themselves around you like a tight pair of jeans; this album has an evenness that reigns throughout. Lead by Jim Cuddy (guitar, vocals, Wurlitzer) and Greg Keelor (guitar, vocals), you will find yourself traveling through many musical canvases. I became fondly reminded of ‘60s pop songs from bands like the Zombies when I heard tracks like "What a Surprise." Then the comparisons to the Eagles and Beatles came up during several songs. Once again, I can see how a dissimilar description such as this would apply to their sound taken as a whole.

The live bonus tracks are incredible! "Working on the Railroad" rocks hard with sax coming in and out of the song to give it all more snap and liveliness. It sounded like Widespread Panic meets Dylan. What a marvelous combination of instruments and oomph they command. The CD closes out with another foot stompin' number called "You're Everywhere," this time complemented by a jazzy trumpet. After hearing how polished they are in the studio and what they sound like live, I am completely sold. Any way you look at it this is one great band.

1. Palace of Gold - 3:49
2. Holding on - 3:56
3. Homeward Bound Angel - 5:47
4. Bulletproof - 4:42
5. Comet - 3:44
6. Walk Like You Don't Mind - 4:07
7. Love Never Lies - 3:28
8. Stage Door - 3:01
9. Cause for Sympathy - 4:12
10. What a Surprise - 3:33
11. Clearer View - 2:41
12. Glad to Be Alive - 3:20
13. Find a Way to Say Goodbye - 4:20
14. Tell Me Baby - 5:02
Live Bonus Tracks:
15. Working on the Railroad - 4:16
16. Bad Timing - 6:04
17. You're Everywhere - 3:39

Credits:
Blue Rodeo - Producer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements, Mixing
Adele Armin - Violin
Richard Armin - Cello
Jim Cuddy - Guitar, Vocals, Wurlitzer
Stephen Donald - Trombone
Bazil Donovan - Bass
Molly Johnson - Vocals (bckgr)
Greg Keelor - Guitar, Vocals
Glenn Milchem - Drums
Wendy Rose - Violin
James Gray - Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer
Laura Hubert - Vocals (bckgr)
Norman Hathaway - Violin
Richard Underhill - Alto, Sax (Baritone), Horn Arrangements
Anne Lindsay - Violin, String Arrangements
Claudio Vena - Viola
Bob Egan - Guitar, Mandolin, Pedal Steel
Ron Mah - Violin
Daniel Blackman - Viola
Bryden Baird - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn
Winona Zelenka - Cello


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