Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
March 10 at Commodore
Tickets $45 plus s/c via Live Nation HERE
19+ doors 8pm
Does Tom Wilson ever stop working? I think the answer is clearly a resounding “NO” and Canadian music lovers should be thankful for that. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings will be the third incarnation of a Tom Wilson band that I will have seen in my life. I saw him originally in “Junkhouse” in the 90’s and as Lee Harvey Osmond last year, where he also played alongside his son, Thompson Wilson, who opened for his dad. Blackie will be a new experience for me, a new way to watch and compare sounds and styles. It’s kind of amazing to watch an artist grow and change, but still remain as emotionally committed as ever. Many artists seem to lose the commitment over time, moving more towards popularity rather than artistic satisfaction – Wilson seems to give no concern to the former, pushing solely for the latter.
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings has surprisingly been around for 20 years and 8 albums, without too much notoriety, excepting possibly the die-hards and Juno voters. Originally Blackie started as a one-off, a side project for Tom and co-Rodeo Kings, Colin Linden and Stephen Fearing. The trio got together to record a tribute album to Canadian songwriter, Willie Bennett, and apparently loved working together enough to keep it going for two decades. Well, maybe they all just love working that much – judging by their respective CVs, it doesn’t much seem like any of the three like time off at all. If they’re not working on solo stuff, they’re playing with the Bob Dylan’s and Bruce Cockburn’s of the world. And if they’re not working with famous musicians, they’re working on upcoming musician’s work, or on TV shows, or on Blackie and the Rodeo Kings…these guys just love music – and it shows.
Although they’re not pop stars by any stretch of the imagination, I can’t imagine any of them want to be. They’re musicians, pure and simple. They make music they love, music they feel, music they want to share with those wise enough to want to have that experience. I love good song-writing and great musicianship, in almost any genre and though roots/folk is certainly not my favourite, I’m excited to see three excellent musicians plying their trade at the always amazing Commodore Ballroom. Blackie albums often feature covers and/or guest artists and I wouldn’t be surprised to see and hear both on March 10. I don’t know exactly what I’m in store for, except a night of watching musical geniuses; Canadian icons; true artists at “work”, if you can call it that – I doubt Tom, Colin and Stephen do.
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written by Chris van Staalduinen