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Blackie & The Rodeo Kings | King Of This Town

Canada's roots-rock triumvirate prove once again three heads are better than one.

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THE PRESS RELEASE

“Critically acclaimed, Juno Award-winning Blackie and the Rodeo KingsTom Wilson, Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden – will celebrate their 25th year together in 2020 and have no intention of slowing down. The band is pleased to announce that the release of their 10th album King of this Town. Blackie formed in 1996, when Linden, Fearing, and Wilson came together to record what was supposed to be a one-off tribute album to the great Canadian songwriter Willie P. Bennett. At the time, all three members were deeply committed to burgeoning solo careers that they had no intentions of putting on hold, and had no plans to turn Blackie into an ongoing concern. Now 25 years later, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings have organically evolved into one of the finest roots-oriented band in North America. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings remains one of Canada’s greatest musical treasures.”

MY TWO CENTS

It’s good to be the Kings. Especially these days. It’s been a quarter-century since Tom Wilson, Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden formed a pickup band to celebrate Canadian icon Willie P. Bennett. Since then, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings have become a beloved national institution in their own right — when they aren’t tending to their acclaimed, productive solo careers, that is. To ice the cake, they just signed their first major-label deal – and oh yeah, made one of the most simple and satisfying albums of their career. As laid-back, low-key and warmly inviting as a long weekend at the cottage, King of This Town reunites the trio at the height of their individual powers. And on these 11 cuts, they once again pool those strengths — Wilson’s hazy, hirsute fuzz-rock, Linden’s southern-fried blues, Fearing’s contemporary folk — into a richly crafted yet gratifyingly grounded whole that is indisputably more than the sum of its parts. And one that continues to honour both their Canadian heritage and border-crossing influences. Whether they’re quoting Leonard Cohen during a gospel-blues stirrer, channeling John Hiatt on some supple southern-soul balladry, hitting the sweet spot between Tony Joe White and T. Rex on a boogie-chillin’ snowbird ode, or dropping the signature guitar lick from Shakin’ All Over into a swirly psychedelic tribute to Medicine Hat, it all fits together seamlessly and flawlessly, proving yet again that three heads are better than one. Long live these Kings.