Jim Cuddy:
Easygoing Solo Debut

Looking healthy and relaxed, Jim Cuddy stretches out in his hotel suite, the picture of contentment. That familiar sparkling smile flashes often, as one half of the dynamic creative duo driving Blue Rodeo discusses his new solo album All In Time.

Cuddy's good mood is easy to grasp. He's had a pleasant summer alternating Blue Rodeo dates (including the expanding Stardust Picnic festival) with his own shows, in advance of the superb debut. "There was no pain and anxiety in this record! All really good people, and (Toronto studio) Chemical Sound is a great place to work, with a wood-burning stove in winter. Wine, women and song- it was easy to keep the creativity going".

Jim's band included fellow BR riders Bazil Donovan and James Gray, while the sweet-voiced Sarah Harmer (Weeping Tile) and Michelle McAdorey (Crash Vegas) add harmonies to four cuts.

Fittingly, Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett of roots-rock heroes Wilco contribute to "I'll Make Believe It's You", the album's purest country song. In Toronto on a promo trip, they were dragged back to the studio by Donovan after their Horseshoe gig. "They'd flown in, been gladhanding all day, played a performance, then meet a total stranger and go with him to record. I don't know if I'd have done that," questions Jim admiringly. "But it was a beautiful coincidence. I'd been listening to Wilco's record prior to and during the recording, so that's one of those little signs that gives you the feeling that you're on the right track."

The Wilco connection may help push All In Time upon it's expected US release on A Warner affiliate in 1999. Blue Rodeo has been hindered Stateside by moving between various labels, but Cuddy's not bitter. The bands now-consistent platinum-plus sales level in Canada pleases and even surprises him. "It doesn't seem that strange we've been here 15 years, but it's maybe more of a surprise we ever got to a level of popularity. Greg (Keelor) and I built the band to last."