Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
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Blackie and the Rodeo Kings


Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Oh, Canada"

Few from Hamilton's scene did much, but Wilson went on to release alt.folk/country music with Junkhouse (one album came out in the States), and most recently, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, a songwriter co-op he has formed with Colin Linden and Stephen Fearing (more Canadian folk-rock vets). I ran into Wilson a decade or so ago when he was recording at Kingsway with Malcolm Burn, and Burn is on a third of the tracks on their new album, Let's Frolic.

The nice thing is that Let's Frolic is really attractive, and it's the sound of singer-songwriters who love the Band playing together. To really get to it, though, you have to have some patience for lyrics that are sung as if they're capital-A art. The title cut is sung with energy more appropriate for a song called "Let's Whittle," and "Loving Cup" treats the title phrase like something that's obviously, incontrovertibly meaningful because it has the word "love" in it. The album’s musical patience and reverence for craft is appealing, and it's only fair to remember that they come from the land of Leonard Cohen, who sings every word like it's pirate treasure. - Offbeat Magazine

"Let's Frolic Review - 4 out of 5 starts"

Canada has produced its share of musicians with a knack for American rock and country.

That list would have to include Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, a collective featuring singer/guitarists Stephen Frearing, Colin Linden and Tom Wilson. The group fills Let's Frolic with a lonesome country-rock sound that recalls the loose charm of Neil Young and The Band.

Whether its "Silver Dreams," the twangy opener that mixes country rock with a dash of George Harrison-style slide guitar, or the gritty rockabilly blues of the title track, Let's Frolic unfolds with the ease of a jam session and the welcome presence of songs that are stronger than tossed-off riffs.


Daniel Lanois, another talented Canadian, composed the ethereal "House of Soul." Amid the friskier songs, it's a haunting, well-timed change of pace that relies on gentle tremolo-laden guitars, brushes against a snare and nice harmonies.

Lanois doesn't play on that track, but he does provide his distinctive pedal steel on "Crown of Thorns." His touch on that instrument, which he plays without fingerpicks, yields a ghostly backdrop to another evocative ballad.

Even when the band tackles a straight-ahead country rocker such as "That's What I Like," it's done with a combination of muscle and restraint that makes it distinctive from the typical boiler-plate Southern rock imitators.

With these talented musicians in control, Let's Frolic is powered by the playful spirit that its title suggests.

- Orlando Sentinel

"Let's Frolic Review - 3 stars"

Let's Frolic the latest from Canadian collective Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Recorded at Woodstock's Bearsville studios, The Band are clearly a touchstone, as are compatriots Blue Rodeo. Among the guests is Daniel Lanois, but best of all is "I Give It up Everyday": midnight soul backed by The Memphis Horns. - Uncut Magazine

"Let's Frolic Again Review 3.5 Stars"

Less self-conscious, less contrived but no less artful than its predecessor, the music on Let's Frolic Again - the second batch of songs culled from the Woodstock session that yielded last year's roots music hit Let's Frolic - is BARK when the pressure's off and they've settled down to play some party music after a meal they cooked themselves and a couple of bottles of wine. In some ways a more genuinely collaborative and musically diverse effort than the first Let's Frolic Again contains some lively originals with deft retro arrangements. It also features several spirited covers, including a noble swipe at long gone but never forgotten Toronto / Hamilton punk band Teenage Head's "Something on my Mind." To these ears, it's BARK at their best.

Top Track:

"Down by the Henry Moore," for the rebellious joy in the performance. - Greg Quill - Toronto Star

"Let's Frolic Review 4 / 5 Stars"

Brilliantly rootsy music from Canadian super group.

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings comprise three top singer/songwriters; Stephen fearing on guitar and vocals, Colin Linden on electric guitar, Dobro, slide guitar, mandolin and vocals and Tom Wilson on acoustic guitar and vocals. They are also joined by an excellent rhythm section comprising Gary Craig (drums), John Dymond (bass), Richard Bell (keyboards) and John Whynot (piano, organ).

Colin's slide guitar is a revelation on the superbly raunchy title track, Let's Frolic. on which he also gives a wonderfully raw and gritty vocal performance. The wonderful ballad, Loving Cup is give a dreamy rendering by the Eagles-styled vocals of Stephen Fearing. The slightly troubled and tormented lyrics of Crown of Thorns, are put across expertly by Colin's tortured and hurting vocals, accompanied wonderfully by Daniel Lanois on pedal steel, plus some great harmony vocals from Tom Wilson.

As well as Daniel Lanoi' appearance, the also have the divine voice of Pam Tillis on the tender The Fool Who Can't Forget.

The rocking blues guitar intro of Life is Golden leads nicely into this wonderfully brooding rocker, which has all three taking turns with lead vocals, and this track also has some quite scintillating slide guitar licks. I have said on a number of occasions that some of the best albums being release at the moment are coming from Canadian Groups and artists, and this is another fine example of that point. - Maverick Magazine UK


High or Hurtin'
Kings of Love
Let's Frolic
Let's Frolic Again
Swinging on the Chains of Love
Kings & Queens
Kings & Queens Deluxe Edition



Blackie & the Rodeo Kings - the band - is a labour of love for Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson.

In 1996 their debut album was released to critical acclaim.The first album, "High or Hurtin'", brought 14+ Willie P. Bennett originals to an appreciative audience. The musicianship is superb, the vocals right on, and the lyrics are sublime.

Since that first album, Stephen, Colin and Tom have often found themselves writing songs that could only be expressed through the Blackie & the Rodeo Kings medium. It was this material and a love for collaboration that brought them together again; they found that Blackie meant more to them than a simple and fun way to pay tribute to the music that they loved.

All three continued their successful solo careers garnering numerous individual awards and nominations. The chemistry, which first brought the trio together, drew them back in 1999 for "Kings of Love", a double album of originals and covers, folk, rock, ballads, even surf instrumental : an amazing achievement from Colin, Tom and Stephen which won the JUNO in the Best Roots & Traditional Album, Group category.

BARK is the third album and marked the highly anticipated return of the Juno Award-winning group Blackie & the Rodeo Kings. Recorded in the winter of 2003, the album found the trio maturing musically, featuring some of the best material that these three talented songwriters had ever put to disc.

In the 3 years since they released their Juno nominated recording BARK, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings have been very busy. They appeared live on the Juno and the CCMA Award shows; toured across Canada with country legend Merle Haggard, toured the U.S. on the heels of a top 15 Americana radio hit and all three founding members (Stephen Fearing, Colin Linden and Tom Wilson) released solo CDs. BARK garnered the band four singles, two of which went Top 30 at Rock Radio.

2010 brings the seventh album from Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, an ambitious collaboration called “Kings & Queens”. This release, produced by Colin Linden, pairs Blackie & the Rodeo Kings with some of the band’s favourite female singers – and some of the biggest names in roots, blues and jazz – including Roseanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Serena Ryder, Lucinda Williams and Cassandra Wilson.