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Blue Rodeo Has New Kick: New Member is Impressive; Roots-Rockers Offer More Fire

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  • Source: Winnipeg Free Press
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  • Date: 01-1-2000
When you're the new guy, you know someone's going to force you to hold a tambourine for the entire opening song.

But Bob Egan made one heck of an impression last night at the Walker Theatre, making his Winnipeg debut as a member of Blue Rodeo.

The lap and pedal steel player is best known for his work with critically acclaimed American country-rock band Wilco. Now, Egan is a member of Canada's most successful and dependable roots-rock outfit, which turned in an inspired and uncharacteristically raucous performance last night before an audience of 1,350.

The Yank - a Minnesotan, actually - got a chance to shine two songs into the set during The Seeker, a tune from Blue Rodeo's eighth studio record, The Days In Between. Songs from the new disc dominated the early part of the show.

From the moment Blue Rodeo walked on stage, you knew it was going to be a great show - the sextet simply picked up their instruments and started playing in an impressive display of unpretentiousness.

Singer/guitarist frontmen Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor were particularly on the ball, hanging their bittersweet harmonies over an unusual display of bombastic banging courtesy bassist Bazil Donovan and drummer Glenn Milchem.

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…sounded more natural and confident than they have in years, at least to this observer.

Kim Deschamps, Egan's predecessor, was a gifted and brilliant pedal stelel player. But you can never underestimate the rejuvenating powers of a little change.

At press time, which is earlier than usual on Fridays, Gray returned to play accordion while Donovan was playing stand-up bass. Fifteen more…

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…cally Hip of Austrailia because they are huge in their isolated homeland but relatively unknown in the rest of the world.

The piano-based quintet, which takes its name from a left-wing Aussie politician, knocked off an impressively diverse half-hour set that veered from sentimental, boozy love songs into jazzy, samba-based flights of rhythmic fancy.

The Australians and their Canadian…

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