BLACKIE AND THE RODEO KINGS ARE SET TO RELEASE KINGS AND KINGS, A COLLABORATION ALBUM FEATURING ERIC CHURCH, NICK LOWE, BRUCE COCKBURN, JASON ISBELL, VINCE GILL, FANTASTIC NEGRITO, AND MANY OTHERS.
KINGS AND KINGS DUE OUT OCTOBER 7 VIA FILE UNDER: MUSIC
As promised Blackie and The Rodeo Kings are set to deliver the companion piece to their 2011 collaboration album King And Queens. Where that album featured guest appearances from some of the band’s favourite female singers, Kings And Kings features some of the band’s best ‘guy’ friends from the world of roots, blues, and country. Each one of them an accomplished ‘king’ in their realm of creative endeavours and in many cases absolute ‘king’ legends in the entertainment industry.
“Some of these were fellows we knew well and had made lots of music with like Bruce Cockburn, Buddy Miller, and Keb Mo, and some were new heroes and discoveries like Fantastic Negrito and Dallas Green,” says Colin Linden. “Some, were icons who I had shared some guitaring with like Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, Eric Church, and Raul Malo. And some were icons new and preloved who joined us out of kindness I suppose, like Nick Lowe and Jason Isbell. And some were my dear pals I work on the Nashville TV show with; Chris Carmack, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson, and Sam Palladio.”
Set for release October 7 via File Under: Music, the first single “Beautiful Scars” reminds us of Tom Wilson’s Lee Harvey Osmond albumBeautiful Scars. Wilson jokes that he wrote the title track of his album after it’s release. The song itself is inspired by novelist Miriam Toews benefits from an amazing vocal performance by Dallas Green (City And Colour).
Kings and Kings kicks off with the “Live By The Song”, which is simply the autobiography of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. A rarity in the fact that it was written by all three-principal members, Colin Linden, Tom Wilson, and Stephen Fearing, “Live By The Song” is really the biography of every working musician/songwriter committed to the ‘life’. Perfectly featuring the voice of Grammy Award winner Rodney Crowell and Fearing on the lead vocal, the song conjures the winding path of uncertainty faced by all the players who really had no other choice but to follow it.
Songwriter’s songwriter, Nick Lowe, brings an elegance to “Secret of A Long Lasting Love”, taking the lead throughout the song, while the spirit of the late Roy Orbison can be detected in the gorgeous rendition of Fearing’s “High Wire” featuring the impeccable voice of Raul Malo (The Mavericks).
“A Woman Gets More Beautiful” situates long time friends and collaborators Linden and Bruce Cockburn. On this track the pair philosophize on the appreciation of timeless beauty, slipping from English to French to English, abundant with Cockburn’s masterful guitar interplay.
On every Blackie and The Rodeo Kings album there is a song penned by their namesake, the late great Willie P. Bennett. “This Lonesome Feeling”, a classic cowboy lament, gets an assist from multi-Grammy Award winner and Country Music Hall of Fame legend Vince Gill.
“Long Walk To Freedom” is Fearing with the iconic Kevin Moore (aka Keb Mo), who is a long time friend and collaborator of Linden’s. Groove and melody reign under fantastic manipulations by Oakland’s Fantastic Negrito on Wilson’s “Bitter and Low”.
As a technical supervisor on the TV show Nashville, Linden has spent hours with the cast helping the actors and musicians bring their best to the screen and live stage. “For Where The River Rolls”, he gathered the crew at the day job around the microphone to bring their vocal skills to the track. The result is an upbeat and fun celebration with Linden, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten, and Jonathan Jacksonall sharing verses and harmonies.
Both Eric Church on “Bury My Heart” and Jason Isbell on “Land Of The Living (Hamilton Ontario 2016)” bring a real contemporary country music voice and feel to Blackie and The Rodeo Kings. Like every King on the album, these guys can sing the lights out and they do.
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings originally formed in 1996 when Linden, Fearing, and Wilson came together to record what was suppose 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 twenty years later, 8 albums, one Juno Award, and several Juno Award nominations under their belts, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings have organically evolved into one of the finest roots-oriented bands in North America. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings remains one of Canada’s greatest musical treasures.
KINGS AND KINGS TRACKLIST
Live By The Song ft. Rodney Crowell
Bury My Heart ft. Eric Church
Beautiful Scars ft. City and Colour
High Wire ft. Raul Malo
Playing By Heart ft. Buddy Miller
Bitter and Low ft. Fantastic Negrito
Secret of a Long Lasting Love ft. Nick Lowe
A Woman Gets More Beautiful ft. Bruce Cockburn
Land of The Living (Hamilton Ontario 2016) ft. Jason Isbell
Long Walk To Freedom ft. Keb Mo
This Lonesome Feeling ft. Vince Gill
Where The River Rolls ft. The Men of Nashville
FILE UNDER : MUSIC