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Canadian Folk Hero


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Hi Brigette -

Not sure if you know of Stephen Fearing's "side-project", Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, but they're definitely worth checking out as well. Stephen in joined in that combo by a pair of other top-notch Canadian roots artists - Colin Linden and Tom Wilson (of Junkhouse fame).

This band plays LOUD! ;)

Here's some info on the trio, and on Stephen himself - this was published last year when he and the band opened on Merle Haggard's cross-Canada tour:

BLACKIE & THE RODEO KINGS - the band - is a labour of love for Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing , and Tom Wilson. They have been selected to perform live at this year's JUNO's on April 4.

In 1996 their debut album was released to critical acclaim. The first album, High or Hurtin', brought 14+ Willie originals to an appreciative audience. The musicianship is superb, the vocals right on, and the lyrics are sublime.

All three continued their successful solo careers garnering numerous individual awards and nominations. The chemistry, which first brought the trio together, drew them back in 1999 for Kings of Love, a double album of originals and covers, folk, rock, ballads, even surf instrumental: an amazing achievement from Colin, Tom and Stephen which won the JUNO in the Best Roots & Traditional Album, Group category.

Nominated for a 2004 JUNO in the Best Roots & Traditional Album, Group category, BARK marks the highly anticipated return of Blackie & the Rodeo Kings. The current single from BARK, "Had Enough of You Today", is currently in the Top 20 across Canada.

Since 1999, Stephen Fearing has released two Juno-nominated albums and toured extensively throughout North America. So Many Miles captured the passionate singer-songwriter during one of his trademark intimate and intense live performances. Fearing soon followed it up with 2002's That's How I Walk, which was released in the US on Rounder records, where it hit the Top 30 on the national Americana chart. That's How I Walk showcased Stephen's newfound love of co-writing, cultivated in Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, as he collaborated with the likes of Brian den Hertog, Junkhouse's Colin Cripps, Ian Thornley of Big Wreck, and of course, Tom Wilson. Produced again with Colin Linden, and this time with full accompaniment, the album is a blend of streetwise edge and evocative soul-searching, full of Stephen's usual passionate and deep musings on the full spectrum of human experience.

cheers, Adrian

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