Blue Rodeo

Album Title: Are you Ready
Release Date: April 5, 2005
Genre: Rock
Hogtown's favourite country-rockers return with their first full length since the more pop flavoured Palace of Gold (2002). The dozen tracks here show Keelor, Cuddy, and the boys returning to their roots by offering a mix of both mellow country ballads and roots rockers. The title track, "Are You Ready" ó that was previously released as a mellow and moody version on Keelor's solo disc Seven Songs for Jimthat came out earlier this year ó is reprised here with a psychedelic country vibe. While the version on his solo disc was a dirge for his dad best suited for a funeral, this up tempo chug-a-lug song is best suited for a wake as the repetitive rhythm breathes new life into this song about dealing with death. In the chorus, Keelor screams, "Don't worry buddy we'll see this thing thru/ I'll cry the river that carries you thru." Other highlights include the poppy "Up on that Cloud," the radio-friendly "Rena" and the country ballad "Finger Lakes." Are You Ready shows that 20 years since Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy penned their first hits as the frontmen for this roots-rock outfit, these troubadours are still trying to find new ways to make you weep and make you stomp your feet. And, for roots lovers that's a good thing.

Writer: David McPherson

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