“The project was perfectly conceived and immaculately executed, and the resulting CD is easily among the best I’ve heard this year. Or any year for that matter.” ~ No Depression
Canadian supergroup Blackie and the Rodeo Kings—Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson—will make their Nashville debut Saturday, October 15 at The Rutledge during the 12th annual Americana Music Festival. Their festival set will features tracks from Kings And Queens (File Under: Music/Dramatico/Universal), their star-powered collaborative album that pairs the band with iconic female artists including Rosanne Cash, Exene Cervenka, Holly Cole, Emmylou Harris, Amy Helm, Janiva Magness, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Sam Phillips, Serena Ryder, Pam Tillis, Sara Watkins, Lucinda Williams, Cassandra Wilson and Patti Scialfa (full track list below).
“A collection bursting at the seams with pure talent”(Pop Matters), “Blackie and the Rodeo Kings deserve much wider attention” (Blurt) for “a marvelously conceived fourteen song set that generally justifies the hype” (American Songwriter). Beginning with a street date performance at The Living Room in New York City, the band’s toured throughout Canada with U.S. stops in Portland, OR, Boulder, CO and Charleston, WV. Upcoming dates include Ann Arbor, MI with an appearance on “Acoustic Café.” Tour dates attached.
The concept for Kings And Queens was a random idea that came out of a late-night conversation in a van about “various artists we’ve all had the privilege of working with,” says Colin Linden. “We began with a page torn out of a notebook and a lot of ‘hey, what about’ and ‘wouldn’t it be great to work with’ interjections.” Some three years later, they transformed that wish list into Kings And Queens.
Three years in the making, Kings & Queens was produced by Grammy-and Juno-winning producer Colin Linden (Bruce Cockburn, Tom Wilson, Colin James). The album was recorded in various cities from Nashville, Toronto and New York to New Orleans, Los Angeles and Woodstock. “No destination was too far for love,” says Stephen Fearing. “Colin flew around North America with hard drives and files on his computer, and when we had an artist agree to be involved like Lucinda Williams, he flew to L.A. and recorded in the studio in L.A. with her.”
Formed as a one-off side project for a tribute album to the late Willie P. Bennett, whose 1978 Blackie and the Rodeo King is their namesake, the band has organically evolved into a roots-oriented band in North America. After the release of the critically acclaimed High or Hurtin, The Songs of Willie P. Bennett (1996), singer/songwriters Tom Wilson, Colin Linden, and Stephen Fearing became a full-fledged band releasing nine album to dates. The folk-rock/blues trio has garnered a Juno Award for Best Roots & Traditional Album for Kings of Love (1999) and Juno nominations for BARK (2003) and Let s Frolic (2007). Swinging From The Chains Of Love (2009) featured a collection of tracks from the Blackie catalogue.