Blue Rodeo headed to the Miramichi

Long-running Canadian roots-rock band Blue Rodeo is returning to New Brunswick with a one-off show in Miramichi on Friday June 26.

Since Blue Rodeo last performed in the province in February 2008, the band has travelled to Afghanistan and released the live CD/DVD package entitled Blue Road this past November. The release served to chronicle the acoustic portion of one of their shows at Toronto’s famed Massey Hall.

 

Blue Rodeo singer/guitarist Greg Keelor recently checked in from his management’s offices in Toronto and had much to say about the band’s March 2008 trip to Afghanistan: “It was an eye-opener to be there. Once we arrived, it felt like a much bigger war than what news outlets ever let on that it was. It was amazing to go and play for the troops and be good will ambassadors.”

Keelor says that the jobs which the soldiers are tasked with are not necessarily easy nor differ a whole lot from day to day. According to Keelor, this ended up giving everyone who went on the trip an even greater appreciation for the work being done by our Canadian troops.

“Most of the people at the base in Kandahar are support staff covering fields like communication and transportation. Those soldiers and personnel go to work and do the same thing, seven days a week which I’m sure has to be monotonous, so it was a real pleasure to be able to give them a little something different to look forward to.”

While the band was overseas, they teamed up with some NHL Old Timer Hockey Players to take part in a ball hockey game against the Canadian Forces Soldiers. The ball hockey game proved to be extremely popular with the soldiers stationed there, with over 200 soldiers having signed up hoping to make the final cut of the Forces team.

As for what the group is up to nowadays, Keelor reports that Blue Rodeo is currently in the studio, recording their twelfth studio record. For their newest record, the band is working with Producer Darryl Neudorf who has worked on records by Neko Case, Sarah McLachlan and Justin Rutledge to name a few.

“All of the songs are written,” Keelor divulges, “and we are half-way through recording. We are splitting our time recording between my farm and our studio in the city.”

Keelor says that the band has a date of October 2009 penciled in for the record’s release with the inevitable Canadian winter tour to follow soon after.

Fans of Blue Rodeo will definitely want to check out what will most likely be their only provincial appearance this year on Friday June 26 at the Miramichi Culture Fest, taking place at the MiramichiAgricultural Exhibition Association located at 24 Church Street. For information on the show and support acts, visit www.miramichifest.com.

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