Bob Wiseman The organ used by former Blue Rodeo member Bob Wiseman is up for…
- Posted on Sep 27th 2011 1:00PM by Lonny Knapp
Some Canadians don't share his affection for the Big Smoke, though. But until now, the long-established rivalry between Torontonians and the rest of the nation hadn't really bothered Cuddy.
"Recently, I've felt sympathy for Toronto," he tells Spinner.
With the city now under siege by a right-wing mayor who seems intent on making deep cuts to arts funding and social programs, Cuddy (an active supporter of Canada's socialist-leaning New Democrat Party) is standing up for his stomping ground.
"It was funny for a while that everybody hated Toronto but now I don't think it's funny. And I don't think [mayor] Rob Ford is funny -- that's a waste of four years."
Cuddy's freshly pressed third solo disc, 'Skyscraper Soul,' is both a response to the naysayers and a testament to his love of tall buildings, concrete and glass.
With his longtime backing band, which includes producer and guitarist Colin Cripps as well as Blue Rodeo bandmate and bassist Basil Donovan, Cuddy set out to produce a laid-back and rootsy record. Instead, he emerged with a distinctively urban disc.
The album's cover art sees the handsome singer trading his signature plaid shirt and blue jeans for a tailored black suit, and songs such as 'City Birds' and the title track are straight-up odes to metropolitan life. Even the studio were it was tracked is tucked away down a graffiti-plastered alley inside a nondescript warehouse in the heart of downtown Toronto.
While Blue Rodeo is one of Canada's endearing and enduring roots rock bands, Cuddy insists he and his bandmates are city boys through and through.
"Even though many of our song have an urban sensibility, we've been associated with a sort of country rock milieu for long time, but we are very urban," he says.
"The city is in my bones. So when I travel around the world and get to a city like Madrid, I'm just floored. Certainly the most inspiring places that I've been in my life are urban centers."