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Blue Rodeo

Small Miracles – 2007 (Warner Canada/Telesoul)

Reviewed by David McPherson

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CDs by Blue Rodeo

Following a brief hiatus that saw co-founders Jim Cuddy and Greg Keeler release solo records, this is one of the best offerings from Canadian roots revellers Blue Rodeo in years. Recorded at the band's Toronto studio (The Woodshed), Blue Rodeo's 11th full-length release offers 13 strong songs - an equal mix of roots rockers and country ballads.

Twenty years on, it's still all about the strength of the songs penned by Cuddy and Keelor and the magical harmony created by melding their diverse voices. "Blue House" is a rollicking, Keelor-penned number that begs to pull on your cowboy boots and stomp along. Cuddy's candy-coated vocals shine on the tender piano-ballad "Three Hours Away," a song about lost love that's fading away way too fast, with its poignant lyrics: "some things aren't meant to last/ like a day that burns up fast/ turn away and then it's gone." A string quartet adds lush accompaniment on "Beautiful," "Summer Girls" and "This Town."

"Small Miracles" shows 21 years since their debut ("Outskirts"), Blue Rodeo offers no signs of fading away into that good night.