By Nicole Fitzgerald
Who: Greg Keelor and The Sadies
When: Wednesday, Oct. 25
Where: Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC)
Is Blue Rodeo breaking up?
Greg Keelor says the group is just busy with solo projects,
taking time to fuel their creativity with plans to regroup in February 2007 to
start working on the next Blue Rodeo album.
After 23 years, Blue Rodeo has stocked a wealth of Juno-Awards
and accolades to their credit. But despite the band’s success, Keelor found
himself falling into a rut.
However, on hearing The Sadies perform live, Keelor’s
imagination picked up where his Blue Rodeo block locked down.
“When I heard The Sadies, they reminded me of what music is
capable of, the possibilities,” Keelor said. “I am greatly indebted to them.
They always play it right and they play it beautifully.”
Beauty emerged in the form of collective albums and support for
Keelor’s solo work, including his new album,
. Their music continues to bloom as colourfully as
Keelor’s home rose gardens, with the band and artist coming together for a
western-Canada tour this fall, touching down in Whistler Oct. 25 at the
Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC).
“I think going out and doing different stuff, you feel a little
happier and fulfilled,” Keelor says. “I’ll come back (to Blue Rodeo) refreshed.
If the record (
really well, then I won’t come back at all.”
Keelor’s new album was a labour of love. He recorded as many of
the instrumentals as possible and engineered the album in his home studio
— the recording stomping ground for many Blue Rodeo and The Sadies
“It was a bit of a stretch for me,” he said of the recording
process. “I still enjoy learning about what I do. I learned a lot on this
project. It’s what keeps you going.”
When asked where he saw his career at this time, Keelor
“I never reflected on my career in that way,” he said. “I
barely even see it as a career — even though I make a good living from
it. I just play music. It’s always been my dream to make music.”
One of the major turning points in that making-music dream was
when Blue Rodeo opened for Kris
in Toronto, launching
the then relatively obscure band into the North American spotlight.
“We were performing in the Phoenix Club, where they have little
balconies on the side of the stage,” Keelor recounted. “Kris was watching us
from there. When you have a guy like that sitting over your shoulder, I kept
looking up all the time. He was paying attention and when he got up to do his
set, he went on for a long time about what a great band we were. All of the
newspapers were there to see Kris Kristofferson, but they took more notice of
us because of his endorsement.”
Keelor and The Sadies are long time friends after meeting over
a guitar store counter in Toronto. The Sadies joined Blue Rodeo for a show and
the Sadies’ mix of bluegrass, punk ’n’ country rock and roll won over Keelor’s
music sensibilities immediately.
Earlier this year The Sadies collaborated with Keelor and Blue Rodeo on a 40-track live album, entitled In Concert , bringing The Sadies’ full-length album collection to nine: five on (Bloodshot Records) and four on (Yep Rock). However, these are only the albums with The Sadies’ name on the CD spine. The band exercises its talents on countless other artists’ albums and singles.
The Sadies also released a soundtrack CD for Tales of the Rat Fink, a look at the life of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, narrated by Hollywood stars such as John Goodman and Jay Leno. High Times Magazine nominated the film for Best Documentary and Soundtrack.
Advanced tickets range from $15 to $20 and are currently on sale at the GLC.