WHO IS HE? The co-founder and co-frontman of beloved Canadian country-rock heroes Blue Rodeo — and the poppier Paul McCartney to partner Greg Keelor’s edgier John Lennon.
WHAT IS THIS? His fifth solo outing, the home-made Countrywide Soul finds the singer-songwriter revisiting and retooling tunes from his previous solo albums — along with a couple of Blue Rodeo deep tracks, a pair of Nashville classics and two new numbers.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? As familiar as its title — which comes from a song on Cuddy’s 2006 release The Light That Guides You Home. But in keeping with his mission statement, the affable Cuddy creatively reworks all the tracks, sometimes changing everything from tempo and instrumentation to mood and tone.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? You Can Go Home Again. Or maybe Not My First Rodeo.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? On a playlist with the original versions.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Warm, earnest, nostalgia, homey, bittersweet, comforting, relaxed, thoughtful, straightforward, celebratory.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The new numbers — the country-pop blues Glorious Day and the fiddle-fuelled two-stepper Back Here Again — lead the pack. But the respectful covers of George Jones’ old-school country waltz Almost Persuaded and Glen Campbell’s glitzy Rhinestone Cowboy aren’t far behind.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY THINK? ‘Gee, Greg Keelor doesn’t sing very much on this Blue Rodeo album.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Whenever you need or want a break from Greg.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A PIECE OF CLOTHING, WHAT KIND OF CLOTHING WOULD IT BE? A well-worn work shirt — blue denim or plaid.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? If you’re a fan, you’ll get your money’s worth.