represents half of one of Canada's most celebrated songwriting partnerships. The frontman for that juggernaut of a country rock band (with '60s psychedelic pop oozing out of its pores) is also one of the finest vocalists of his generation, with perfect pitch and a high clear tone that can swing from heart-piercing country balladry to dynamic blue-eyed soul.
Cuddy, who met future songwriting partner Greg Keelor
in high school in Ontario, was influenced as a teenager by singer/songwriters like Dylan
, Jackson Brown, Gordon Lightfoot
, and Kris Kristofferson
, as well as by British Invasion groups. After university, Keelor and Cuddy started a punk-pop band called the Hi Fis. In 1981, the two moved to New York, and started a new band, Fly to France. After that group failed, Cuddy and Keelor decided to record a demo of their compositions, which included such later celebrated Blue Rodeo
compositions as "Try," "Outskirts," and "Rose Coloured Glasses." In 1984, they moved back to Toronto, where a country-flavored "lonesome highway" sound was developing in the clubs, and sent the tape around. Through friends and newspaper ads the two formed the group that would become Blue Rodeo
, whose highly lauded first effort, Outskirts
, came out in 1986.
In 1998, in between extensive touring with the Rodeo, Cuddy released his solo debut, All in Time
. Recorded at Toronto's Chemical Sound, the album featured Blue Rodeo
bassist Bazil Donovan
and keyboardist James Gray
as well as a duet with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy
("I'll Make Believe It's You") and appearances by Sarah Harmer
and Michelle McAdorey