There are plenty of musicians who will tell you how hard life on the road is — you’re sleep-deprived, travelling on lonely, at times treacherous, highways to unknown places, eating takeout every night and missing your loved ones — but not Jim Cuddy.
“You have this beautiful life of saying goodbye to friends and then getting back on the bus and travelling. So it’s all kind of romantic and lovely,” the multiple Juno-award winning Can-rock legend said.
Speaking to The Morning Star from St. John, N.B., the first stop on a cross-Canada tour that will bring him to Vernon on Feb. 24, Cuddy said he never grows tired of the road.
“It’s not all fun and games,” he noted. “Things happen, sometimes people get on each other’s nerves, but generally, it’s a very enjoyable existence.”
The 33-stop tour, which is in promotion of his fourth solo album Constellation, includes performances with another Canadian music veteran, Barney Bentall as well as up-and-comers Devin Cuddy and Sam Polley.
After three decades touring with Blue Rodeo, and as of late, the Jim Cuddy Band, the married father of three has garnered a reputation for his un-diva-like touring style — he travels by van or bus, he often favours mid-size concert halls over stadiums, and famously tours over the less popular winter months.
While he understands why this is often viewed as an unusual practice, the Toronto-based troubadour said there is actually a very practical reason to adopt this habit.
“We (Blue Rodeo) started touring a lot in the winter when most of the band members’ kids were little. It was the time when we were the least missed,” he laughed.
“If you were away in June, July and August, it was a bigger deal, so we toured in the winter more and found that we really liked it.
It’s really beautiful to go into a community for 24 or 48 hours and see how they handle the winter.
And obviously Vernon’s winter is very different from St. John’s winter, or Quebec City’s. I like the variety and the extremeness of it. There’s a lot to be recommended.”
Consequently, with each community he visits, he tries to spend some time “wandering around.”
And while Cuddy said he has his Vernon favourite haunts, he, unlike the Barenaked Ladies who shared their long-standing tradition of checking out all the local coffee bars and announcing their favourite at their show when they visited Vernon in November, he’s hesitant to choose one spot over another. He will admit though, over the years, he has discovered a few local gems.
“I love that part of the country — the lake is beautiful. I love cycling out there, and I’ve done some great skiing up at Silver Star and Big White with my family when my kids were younger. And I like the wine store by the airport.”
Jim Cuddy takes the stage of the Vernon Performing Arts Centre on Feb. 24. Tickets are $60.75 (all seats) and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.ca or by contacting the Box Office at 250-549-7469. A copy of Constellation is included with every ticket order for this show.