Press and Reviews...Who Said What..?!
REVIEWS FOR KINGS & QUEENS:
TheStarPhoenix.com (concert review)
"...18 years later, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings are still going strong. In their fancy western suits, they not only tour regularly, but have continued to expland their repetoire, recording a half-dozen more albums. There have been a handful of Juno nominations and, in 2000, a Juno Award.
And no one is more surprised at the run than [Tom] Wilson, the shaggy Hamilton native whose vocal growl plumbs the dark side of the tunes. 'It was supposed to be one record,' he said, 'We did the record in Colin's studio, shook hands and then I went to do a film in Costa Rica and Steve went to do his thing. We were like, 'That's great, we got to do this record'". Although each member of the trio pursues his own music, which now includes Wilson's outfit, Lee Harvey Osmond, they all feel it's important to make time for Blackie. What keeps them at it is respect for [Willie P.] Bennett, who died of a heart attack in 2008.
'We got together to honour Willie P. Bennett and as a result, I have to say that's the reason we're still together.' Wilson said. The latest Blackie project is the ambitious Kings and Queens album, which features duets with some of the band members favourite female singers, including Lucinda WIlliams, Emmylou Harris, Roseanne Cash, Amy Helm, Mary Margaret O'Hara and more. To their delight, the women loved the songs the guys wrote and were happy to help out. It shows no signs of cooling off as fans from Nashville to the Netherlands are tuned on to the quality of the music.
'If an album comes out now, it never dies,' said Wilson. 'People keep discovering it'."
KingstonMusicReviews.ca (showcase review)
"It's one thing to watch the youtube videos and lsiten to Blackie and The Rodeo Kings on CBC I can tell you right now it is a whole different experience finally seeing them play live. I was truly amazed by the show that they put on tonight. I have watched Tom Wilson play three or four times now and tonight was easily the best show I have seen him play before. By himself I think Colin Linden came in and stole the show, watching and listening to him play slide guitar tonight will be something that I will never forget. There really wasn't a time when he stopped jumping around the stage playing. Stephen Fearing vocals sounded excellent throughout the set especially during 'Black Sheep'. The Queens for tonight were Amy Helm and Kendel Carson. Kendel was the first to make an appearance providing backing vocals and playing her fiddle. Amy's vocals really shook the room when she sang and quickly brought the attention fromthe Regent Theatre upon herself. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings started off their set with 'Water or Gasoline' around halfway through their set Tom's vocals really brought out the baritone sound in the band especially adding to the backing vocals in 'Stoned'. One of my favourite songs of the night came when they played a cover of '49 Tons'. It took a little bit of coaxing from Tom to get people to the front of the stage dancing and staying out of the corner where there was a handful of people dancing. Sitting front row the people prettymuch took the view right out of the stage for me. For their last two songs they encouraged the entire audience into standing which to my surprise everybody actually did. To finish off the night they played 'Wide River' and 'Price of Love'.
EXAMINER.COM (showcase review)
“But in the end, the night belonged to the evening's third group to play, Canadian all-star band Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Before an insanely packed crowd, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings put on a Rock and Roll clinic, led by the impressive guitar antics of Colin Linden. Blasting through an hour-long set that seemed too short to contain their energy, the group also managed to snag a couple of impressive guests to assist them with the female vocals of songs from their Kings and Queens album, Carrie Rodriguez and The McCrary Sisters.
The band joked during their set that "we've played in Nashville a lot and not nearly this many of you ever came to those." Word of mouth from this strong Americanafest performance should fix that injustice the next time the Canadians step foot in Music City.”
NASHVILLE SCENE (concert preview)
“and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, who released a truly great male-female duets album this year.”
GIBSON.COM (AMA roundup)
“And Americana radio darlings like Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, lead by Colin Linden shredding on a resonator guitar and his reissued Gibson Les Paul Gold Top, and James McMurtry blasted through high-energy sets.”
MUSIC ROW (concert preview)
“Three years in the making, it’s a varied, inspired, and often moving collection that’s never forced or predictable. Hopefully it will provide much deserved American exposure for this talented but thus far under-the-(US) radar male threesome. ****” – American Songwriter
“Kings and Queens is the type of album you can’t help but want to hear. The band decided to try to wrangle a list of female singers they would love to sing with, and hot damn, is that list fantastic.” – Hero Hill
“Blackie and The Rodeo Kings’ ‘Black Sheep’ is one of my favorite songs from 2011. Meticulously crafted with deep, resonant writing and featuring Canada’s premier young female vocalist Serena Ryder. Kind of like The Band recording with Joni Mitchell back in 1970.” – Brew Michaels, OM KRVO, Kalispell, MT
INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES:
Tom: “The same way that we’re better men — better people — for the women that have surrounded our lives either on a long-term basis or a short-term basis, the same thing happened musically… We’re better singers, better people.” – Macleans.ca
Colin: “We would write a song and then go, Now who would sound good on this? From our experience with the singers, we had a sense of their voices and the arrangements that work for them. We’d then send a file of the song to the singer we wanted and just ask, ‘Can you hear yourself doing this?’” – Cashbox Canada
Rosanne Cash, for example, was brought to tears when she heard Wilson’s sub-baritone version of Folsom Prison Blues at the Edmonton Folk Festival in 2006. They were nice tears, too. She liked the Blackie version of her father’s song so much she brought more members of the Cash family to see them perform at a later tour stop in Portland, Ore. –The Spec
To stay true to the concept of the album, which was to honour these queens for their individuality and diversity as artists, Linden and the boys worked hard to write songs specific to each queen, as well as to create an environment that would help the sonic evolution occur naturally. – BeatRoute Magazine
OTHER REVIEWS OF B&RK:
“Superbly produced by Colin Linden, this is an excellent place to start for those of us who have only just discovered what must be one of the best bands to ever come out of Canada.” – http://pennyblackmusic.co.uk/
“This is a fantastically joyful record, where the musical talents of the players really shine through, buoyed up by their clear love of playing music together. ” –http://www.americana-uk.com
Getting airplay in the UK, on BBC Scotland – http://www.bbc.co.uk/